JUSTICE AGAINST SPONSORS OF TERRORISM ACT--VETO MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 147
(House of Representatives - September 28, 2016)

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   JUSTICE AGAINST SPONSORS OF TERRORISM ACT--VETO MESSAGE FROM THE 
                     PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

  The SPEAKER pro tempore laid before the House the following message 
from the Senate:

       The Senate having proceeded to reconsider the bill (S. 
     2040) entitled ``An Act to deter terrorism, provide justice 
     for victims, and for other purposes.'', returned by the 
     President of the United States with his objections, to the 
     Senate, in which it originated, it was
       Resolved, That the said bill pass, two-thirds of the 
     Senators present having voted in the affirmative.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore laid before the House the following veto 
message from the President of the United States:

To the Senate of the United States: 
  I am returning herewith without my approval S. 2040, the ``Justice 
Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act'' (JASTA), which would, among other 
things, remove sovereign immunity in U.S. courts from foreign 
governments that are not designated state sponsors of terrorism.
  I have deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorist 
attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), who have suffered grievously. I 
also have a deep appreciation of these families' desire to pursue 
justice and am strongly committed to assisting them in their efforts.
  Consistent with this commitment, over the past 8 years, I have 
directed my Administration to pursue relentlessly al-Qa'ida, the 
terrorist group that planned the 9/11 attacks. The heroic efforts of 
our military and counterterrorism professionals have decimated al-
Qa'ida's leadership and killed Osama bin Laden. My Administration also 
strongly supported, and I signed into law, legislation which ensured 
that those who bravely responded on that terrible day and other 
survivors of the attacks will be able to receive treatment for any 
injuries resulting from the attacks. And my Administration also 
directed the Intelligence Community to perform a declassification 
review of ``Part Four of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 
Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist 
Attacks of September 11,'' so that the families of 9/11 victims and 
broader public can better understand the information investigators 
gathered following that dark day of our history.
  Notwithstanding these significant efforts, I recognize that there is 
nothing that could ever erase the grief the 9/11 families have endured. 
My Administration therefore remains resolute in its commitment to 
assist these families in their pursuit of justice and do whatever we 
can to prevent another attack in the United States. Enacting JASTA into 
law, however, would neither protect Americans from terrorist attacks 
nor improve the effectiveness of our response to such attacks. As 
drafted, JASTA would allow private litigation against foreign 
governments in U.S. courts based on allegations that such foreign 
governments' actions abroad made them responsible for terrorism-related 
injuries on U.S. soil. This legislation would permit litigation against 
countries that have neither been designated by the executive branch as 
state sponsors of terrorism nor taken direct actions in the United 
States to carry out an attack here. The JASTA would be detrimental to 
U.S. national interests more broadly, which is why I am returning it 
without my approval.
  First, JASTA threatens to reduce the effectiveness of our response to 
indications that a foreign government has taken steps outside our 
borders to provide support for terrorism, by taking such matters out of 
the hands of national security and foreign policy professionals and 
placing them in the hands of private litigants and courts.
  Any indication that a foreign government played a role in a terrorist 
attack on U.S. soil is a matter of deep concern and merits a forceful, 
unified Federal Government response that considers the wide range of 
important and effective tools available. One of these tools is 
designating the foreign government in question as a state sponsor of 
terrorism, which carries with it a litany of repercussions, including 
the foreign government being stripped of its sovereign immunity before 
U.S. courts in certain terrorism-related cases and subjected to a range 
of sanctions. Given these serious consequences, state sponsor of 
terrorism designations are made only after national security, foreign 
policy, and intelligence professionals carefully review all available 
information to determine whether a country meets the criteria that the 
Congress established.
  In contrast, JASTA departs from longstanding standards and practice 
under our Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and threatens to strip all 
foreign governments of immunity from judicial process in the United 
States based solely upon allegations by private litigants that a 
foreign government's overseas conduct had some role or connection to a 
group or person that carried out a terrorist attack inside the United 
States. This would invite consequential decisions to be made based upon 
incomplete information and risk having different courts reaching 
different conclusions about the culpability of individual foreign 
governments and their role in terrorist activities directed against the 
United States--which is neither an effective nor a coordinated way for 
us to respond to indications that a foreign government might have been 
behind a terrorist attack.
  Second, JASTA would upset longstanding international principles 
regarding sovereign immunity, putting in place rules that, if applied 
globally, could have serious implications for U.S. national interests. 
The United States has a larger international presence, by far, than any 
other country, and sovereign immunity principles protect our Nation and 
its Armed Forces, officials, and assistance professionals, from foreign 
court proceedings. These principles also protect U.S. Government assets 
from attempted seizure by private litigants abroad. Removing sovereign 
immunity in U.S. courts from foreign governments that are not 
designated as state sponsors of terrorism, based solely on allegations 
that such foreign governments' actions abroad had a connection to 
terrorism-related injuries on U.S. soil, threatens to undermine these 
longstanding principles that protect the United States, our forces, and 
our personnel.
  Indeed, reciprocity plays a substantial role in foreign relations, 
and numerous other countries already have laws that allow for the 
adjustment of a foreign state's immunities based on the treatment their 
governments receive in the courts of the other state. Enactment of 
JASTA could encourage foreign governments to act reciprocally and allow 
their domestic courts to exercise jurisdiction over the United States 
or U.S. officials--including our men and women in uniform--for 
allegedly causing injuries overseas via U.S. support to third parties. 
This could lead to suits against the United States or U.S. officials 
for actions taken by members of an armed group that received U.S. 
assistance, misuse of U.S. military equipment by foreign forces,

[[Page H6024]]

or abuses committed by police units that received U.S. training, even 
if the allegations at issue ultimately would be without merit. And if 
any of these litigants were to win judgments--based on foreign domestic 
laws as applied by foreign courts--they would begin to look to the 
assets of the U.S. Government held abroad to satisfy those judgments, 
with potentially serious financial consequences for the United States.
  Third, JASTA threatens to create complications in our relationships 
with even our closest partners. If JASTA were enacted, courts could 
potentially consider even minimal allegations accusing U.S. allies or 
partners of complicity in a particular terrorist attack in the United 
States to be sufficient to open the door to litigation and wide-ranging 
discovery against a foreign country--for example, the country where an 
individual who later committed a terrorist act traveled from or became 
radicalized. A number of our allies and partners have already contacted 
us with serious concerns about the bill. By exposing these allies and 
partners to this sort of litigation in U.S. courts, JASTA threatens to 
limit their cooperation on key national security issues, including 
counterterrorism initiatives, at a crucial time when we are trying to 
build coalitions, not create divisions.
  The 9/11 attacks were the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil, and 
they were met with an unprecedented U.S. Government response. The 
United States has taken robust and wide-ranging actions to provide 
justice for the victims of the 9/11 attacks and keep Americans safe, 
from providing financial compensation for victims and their families to 
conducting worldwide counterterrorism programs to bringing criminal 
charges against culpable individuals. I have continued and expanded 
upon these efforts, both to help victims of terrorism gain justice for 
the loss and suffering of their loved ones and to protect the United 
States from future attacks. The JASTA, however, does not contribute to 
these goals, does not enhance the safety of Americans from terrorist 
attacks, and undermines core U.S. interests.
  For these reasons, I must veto the bill.
                                                        Barack Obama.  
                                  The White House, September 23, 2016. 

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The objections of the President will be 
spread at large upon the Journal.
  The question is, Will the House, on reconsideration, pass the bill, 
the objections of the President to the contrary notwithstanding?
  The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte) is recognized for 1 hour.

                              {time}  1345

  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield 
the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), 
the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, pending which I yield 
myself such time as I may consume.


                             General Leave

  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their 
remarks and include extraneous materials on S. 2040, currently under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Virginia?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, earlier today, the Senate voted 97-1 to 
override the President's veto on the Justice Against Sponsors of 
Terrorism Act. I rise to urge my colleagues to follow the Senate's 
action and vote to override this veto so that Americans may seek 
judicial redress against any foreign government that chooses to sponsor 
a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
  The question that this veto override vote poses is whether we should 
allow those who harm our citizens to hide behind legal barriers that 
are required by neither the Constitution nor international law, or 
whether we should permit U.S. victims to hold those who sponsor 
terrorism in our country fully accountable in our courts. I think that 
the answer to this question is clear, and I hope that my colleagues 
will join me in overwhelmingly overriding the President's veto of 
JASTA.
  The changes JASTA makes to existing law are not dramatic, nor are 
they sweeping.
  JASTA amends the Anti-Terrorism Act to make clear that any person who 
aids, abets, or conspires with a State Department designated foreign 
terrorist organization is subject to civil liability for injury to a 
U.S. person.
  In addition, the legislation amends the Foreign Sovereign Immunities 
Act to add an exception to foreign sovereign immunity for acts of 
international terrorism sponsored by a foreign government that cause 
physical harm within the United States.
  The President objects to this change to the law on the grounds that 
it upsets principles of foreign sovereign immunity and that, by so 
doing, our national interests will be threatened by reciprocal 
treatment from abroad. The President's objections, however, have no 
basis under U.S. or international law.
  The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act already has nine exceptions to 
sovereign immunity, including the territorial tort exception. This 
exception provides that a foreign country is not immune from the 
jurisdiction of our courts for injuries that it causes that occur 
entirely within the United States.
  Consistent with customary international law, JASTA, for terrorism 
cases, removes the current requirement that the entire tort occur 
within the United States and replaces it with a rule that only the 
physical injury or death must occur on U.S. soil. JASTA makes this 
change because, under current law, a foreign nation can provide 
financing and other substantial assistance for a terrorist attack in 
our country and escape liability so long as the support is provided 
overseas.
  For example, under current law, if the intelligence agency of a 
foreign government handed a terrorist a bag of money in New York City 
to support an attack on U.S. soil, the country would be liable under 
the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act's tort exception right now. 
However, if we change the fact pattern slightly so that rather than 
giving a terrorist money in New York City the money is provided in 
Paris, the foreign state will not be subject to liability in U.S. 
courts. This is a troubling loophole in our antiterrorism laws.
  When Congress enacted the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act in 1976, 
it put in place a broad set of exceptions to sovereign immunity, 
including an exception for tort claims involving injuries occurring in 
the United States. However, the courts have not consistently 
interpreted those exceptions in such a manner that they cover the 
sponsoring of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. JASTA addresses this 
inconsistency with a concrete rule that is consistent with the nine 
longstanding exceptions to foreign sovereign immunity already provided 
for under U.S. law.
  JASTA ensures that those, including foreign governments, who sponsor 
terrorist attacks on U.S. soil are held fully accountable for their 
actions. We can no longer allow those who injure and kill Americans to 
hide behind legal loopholes denying justice to the victims of 
terrorism.
  I urge my colleagues to vote to override the President's veto.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United 
States constituted the deadliest foreign attack on American soil in our 
Nation's history. Their impact has been immeasurable, as evidenced by 
the fact that we are still grappling with their cultural and policy 
implications.
  Fifteen years later, their powerful emotional effect on Americans 
remains as strong as ever. Those who lost loved ones or were injured as 
a result of this horrific attack deserve our deepest sympathy and our 
help.
  It is in this vein that we consider whether to override the 
President's veto of S. 2040, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism 
Act, which, among other things, amends the Foreign Sovereign Immunities 
Act of 1976 to create a new exception to the act's general grant of 
foreign sovereign immunity.
  The bill's supporters present compelling and sympathetic arguments in 
favor of ensuring that the 9/11 families have access to a well-deserved 
day in court.

[[Page H6025]]

  In his veto message, however, the President raised a number of 
serious substantive concerns about the potential unintended 
consequences of this legislation.
  First, the President stated that S. 2040 could undermine the 
effectiveness of our Nation's national security and counterterrorism 
efforts. For instance, other nations may become more reluctant to share 
sensitive intelligence in light of the greater risk that such 
information may be revealed in litigation.
  Moreover, the President raised the concern that this legislation 
would effectively allow nonexpert private litigants and courts, rather 
than national security and foreign policy experts, to determine key 
foreign and national security policy questions like which states are 
sponsors of terrorism.
  Second, the President's assertion that enactment of S. 2040 may lead 
to retaliation by other countries against the United States given the 
breadth of our interests and the expansive reach of our global 
activities.
  So while it seems likely at this juncture that S. 2040 will be 
enacted over the President's veto, I remain hopeful that we can 
continue to work toward the enactment of subsequent legislation to 
address the President's concerns.
  I understand the moral imperative of enacting legislation in this 
matter, but I am sensitive to the seriousness of the concerns that the 
President raised.
  I had expressed the hope, during floor debate on this bill, that 
Congress and the President could work together to find a better balance 
that would still enable 9/11 victims to seek justice while tempering 
the President's concerns.
  There is no doubt as to the passion that the bill's supporters bring 
to advocating for the victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks, a 
passion that I share.
  As legislators, however, we must be driven not only by understandable 
emotions but by thoughtful consideration of the long-term interests of 
our country. And for this reason, the expected outcome of today's vote 
should not be the end of this matter.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. King), the chief sponsor of this legislation.
  Mr. KING of New York. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee for 
yielding. Let me, at the outset, thank him for the outstanding work 
that he has done in bringing this bill, this legislation, to this 
historic moment where I certainly hope and urge the House of 
Representatives to override--to join the Senate in overriding the 
President's veto of JASTA.
  I take very seriously the objections the President has raised, but 
this bill wasn't drawn in a vacuum, and it hasn't reached this stage in 
a vacuum.
  Primarily led by people like Chairman Goodlatte, Congressman Nadler, 
who is the chief cosponsor of the bill, and also by the leading 
sponsors in the Senate, all of the President's objections, I believe, 
were addressed. Changes were made.
  This bill is not going to put American soldiers at risk. It is not 
going to put American diplomats at risk. What it is going to do is 
finally allow the 9/11 families to have their day in court to seek the 
justice they have long been denied. And if the Government of Saudi 
Arabia has no involvement, if there is no liability, they have nothing 
to worry about.
  But the fact is, those of us who live in New York, who live in New 
Jersey, and all Americans, no matter where you happen to live, those of 
us who were alive on that day know how much this affected all of us. 
But just think about how it affected those families, those who lost 
their husbands and wives and children and grandchildren and mothers and 
fathers.
  So it is really essential that this House today stand on the side of 
those who seek justice, realizing that we are doing nothing in any way 
at all to put any American lives at risk. What we want to do is seek 
justice against those who did cause Americans to die.
  Again, I thank the Senate for their override vote today. I thank 
Chairman Goodlatte for his outstanding work. I thank my good colleague, 
Jerry Nadler. Dan Donovan has done so much since he has come to the 
Congress.
  I urge the House of Representatives to join with the Senate in 
overriding the veto of the President of the United States.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Nadler).
  Mr. NADLER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to start by thanking Peter King and Bob Goodlatte 
for their role in bringing this bill to the floor as the sponsor and 
committee chairman.
  I rise in strong support of overriding the President's veto of JASTA. 
JASTA is a carefully crafted, narrow bill that would hold accountable 
foreign governments that knowingly provide substantial assistance to a 
designated foreign terrorist organization that launches an attack in 
the United States.
  Despite the overblown rhetoric of some critics of this bill, JASTA 
will not pose a threat to American military personnel or diplomats. 
They would be absolutely protected if another country passed 
legislation mirroring this bill because JASTA applies only to 
governments.
  To the extent that a foreign government might pass broader 
legislation that would make American personnel subject to liability, 
that country would not be reciprocating. It would be engaging in a 
transparent and unjustifiable act of aggression.
  The economic, diplomatic, and military strength of the United States 
makes such action unlikely, and any rogue state inclined to target U.S. 
interests can already do so. We must not hold justice for the 9/11 
families hostage to imagined fears.
  Mr. Speaker, 15 years ago, on September 11, we suffered the most 
deadly terrorist attack on our soil in this Nation's history. My 
district in New York was the epicenter of this attack, but its effects 
were felt across the country, including, of course, at the Pentagon and 
in Pennsylvania. We all have an interest in ensuring that the 9/11 
victims and their families can bring to justice anyone who was 
responsible for this vicious attack.
  JASTA simply reinstates what was understood to be the law for 30 
years; that foreign states, not individuals, not soldiers, foreign 
states, may be brought to justice for aiding and abetting acts of 
international terrorism that occur on American soil, whether or not the 
conduct that facilitated the attack occurred in the United States.
  Some courts have recently held that if a foreign government agent 
hands over a check to al Qaeda in a cafe in New York to fund a 
terrorist attack in the United States, that government can be sued in 
an American court. But if that same foreign agent funds the same attack 
by handing over the same check in a cafe in Geneva, the government is 
immune from suit.
  That makes no sense, and it flies in the face of what had been 
settled law for many years. Longstanding U.S. law, under the Foreign 
Sovereign Immunities Act, provides jurisdiction to sue foreign states 
that cause a tortious injury on American soil. That is current law.

                              {time}  1400

  This is the international norm, and it has never prompted retaliatory 
conduct by other nations. This bill simply clarifies that if a foreign 
state murders thousands of Americans on American soil or provides 
substantial assistance to a designated terrorist group that murders 
thousands of Americans on American soil, that government cannot hide 
from justice merely because its actions occurred abroad.
  This bill does not target any particular country or prejudge the 
merits of any particular case. Any government brought before a U.S. 
court will have every defense available to it, as well as extensive 
protections and government privileges during discovery to protect 
against disclosure of its sensitive information. What it will not be 
able to do is hide behind erroneous court decisions and jurisdictional 
loopholes to avoid the legal process altogether.
  We have heard a parade of horribles stemming from a hypothetical fear 
that other nations would use JASTA as an excuse to target American 
citizens. Again, if a foreign government passes legislation that 
mirrors JASTA, American citizens would still be absolutely protected 
because JASTA applies only

[[Page H6026]]

to governments. A foreign government is highly unlikely to pass 
legislation that goes beyond JASTA. If a rogue state does, in fact, 
authorize suits against American personnel abroad, we have a well-
established process for defending such actions. According to the Office 
of Foreign Litigation at the Department of Justice, ``at any given 
time, foreign lawyers under the direct supervision, represent the 
United States in approximately 1,000 lawsuits pending in the courts of 
over 100 countries.'' This is not a new issue for the United States, 
and we are well equipped to deal with any consequences.
  We are warned that Saudi Arabia will be very angry if we approve this 
bill, that the Saudis may retaliate against the United States, may 
perhaps withdraw some investments. History shows that the Saudis will 
do what is in their interests. They need American support and American 
arms in the volatile Middle East where they fear and fight Iran and its 
proxies. They are not going to prefer their emotions to their interests 
and act against the United States.
  If the Saudi Government was not complicit in the attack on 9/11, the 
plaintiffs will fail to prove such complicity in an American court. 
Justice will have been served, and the Saudis will be vindicated after 
years of suspicion. But if it is proven in an American court that the 
Saudi Government was complicit in the attacks on 9/11, justice will 
have been served and we--not the Saudis--will have justification to be 
very angry.
  Mr. Speaker, this bill was carefully negotiated over more than 6 
years. It passed the House and Senate unanimously, and earlier today, 
the Senate voted 97-1 to override the President's veto. All that stands 
in the way of justice for the 9/11 victims and their families is a vote 
in this House. I urge my colleagues to stand with them and to override 
the veto.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Thornberry), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
  Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I first want to thank the gentleman from 
Virginia for yielding, and, secondly, commend him for his work to try 
to tailor this measure in as narrow a way as possible.
  I also want to commend the gentleman from New York (Mr. King) for his 
strong, persistent advocacy for the families of the victims of 9/11. 
All of us share in their grief. The country has not gotten over that 
horrible incident, and all of us have contempt for those who carry out 
terrorist attacks and those who support them.
  My concern for this legislation, however, is more related to the 
unintended consequences that it may have because one of the key 
protections that the military, diplomats, and intelligence community of 
the United States has around the world is this doctrine of sovereign 
immunity. Once that doctrine gets eroded, then there is less 
protection, and we, the United States, has more at stake in having our 
people protected than any other country because we have more people 
around the world than anyone else.
  So, in this Congress, we can control the laws of the United States, 
and we can write them narrowly in a fine-tuned way to just achieve our 
objective. But then other countries respond. They may not have their 
laws narrowly defined in such a fine-tuned way. They may make them 
broader. Their practice may not have the protections that ours do. So 
the concern is that this starts a series of unintended consequences 
that will increase the risk to U.S. military personnel around the 
world, U.S. intelligence community personnel around the world, and 
diplomats around the world. That is the reason you have widespread 
concern that has been voiced in each of those communities for this 
legislation.
  Let me just read briefly from a letter from the Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff that has been available to all Members. It says: ``Any 
legislation that risks reciprocal treatment by foreign governments 
would increase the vulnerability of U.S. Servicemembers to foreign 
legal action while acting in an official capacity.''
  That is the concern, that we lower the protections that our people 
have around the world. Remember, when we send our military out, they 
have to follow orders. They are implementing U.S. policy. They have no 
choice. If they are called before a foreign court, if they are required 
to give testimony in a foreign court, even if they are not the 
defendant, then they are jeopardized, as is sensitive information from 
the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, so my point is that I understand totally the sympathies 
for the victims as well as the desires many people have to override 
this veto, but we also should keep in mind the longer term consequences 
for our military who serve our Nation all around the world.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a letter from the Secretary of 
Defense and a letter from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 
this issue.

                                         Secretary of Defense,

                               Washington, DC, September 26, 2016.
     Hon. William M. ``Mac'' Thornberry,
     Chairman, Committee on Armed Services, House of 
         Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for your letter of September 
     23, 2016, regarding the President's veto of S. 2040, the 
     Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). I support 
     the President's position. We appreciate the opportunity to 
     provide views on this important issue.
       As I stated in my testimony before the Senate Armed 
     Services Committee on September 22, 2016, I agree with the 
     intent of the bill, which is to honor the families of 9/11 
     victims. While we are sympathetic to the intent of JASTA, its 
     potential second- and third-order consequences could be 
     devastating to the Department and its Service members and 
     could undermine our important counterterrorism efforts 
     abroad.
       In general terms, JASTA would allow lawsuits in U.S. 
     Federal Courts against foreign states for actions taken 
     abroad that are alleged to have contributed to acts of 
     terrorism in the United States, notwithstanding long-standing 
     principles of sovereign immunity. Under existing law, similar 
     lawsuits are available for actions taken abroad only by 
     designated state sponsors of terrorism. JASTA extends the 
     stripping of immunity to states that are not designated 
     sponsors of terrorism, potentially subjecting many of the 
     United States' allies and partner nations to litigation in 
     U.S. courts.
       JASTA has potentially harmful consequences for the 
     Department of Defense and its personnel. Adoption of JASTA 
     might result in reciprocal treatment of the United States and 
     other countries could create exceptions to immunity that do 
     not directly mirror those created by JASTA. This is likely to 
     increase our country's vulnerability to lawsuits overseas and 
     to encourage foreign governments or their courts to exercise 
     jurisdiction over the United States or U.S. officials in 
     situations in which we believe the United States is entitled 
     of sovereign immunity. U.S. Service members stationed here 
     and overseas, and especially those supporting our 
     counterterrorism efforts, would be vulnerable to private 
     individuals' accusations that their activities contributed to 
     acts alleged to violate a foreign state's law. Such lawsuits 
     could relate to actions taken by members of armed groups that 
     received U.S. assistance or training, or misuse of U.S. 
     military equipment by foreign forces.
       First, whether the United States or our Service members 
     have in fact provided support for terrorist acts or aided 
     organizations that later commit such acts in violation of 
     foreign laws is irrelevant to whether we would be forced to 
     defend against lawsuits by private litigants in foreign 
     courts. Instead, the mere allegation of their involvement 
     could subject them to a foreign court's jurisdiction and the 
     accompanying litigation and intrusive discovery process that 
     goes along with defending against such lawsuits. This could 
     result in significant consequences even if the United States 
     or our personnel were ultimately found not to be responsible 
     for the alleged acts.
       Second, there would be a risk of sizeable monetary damage 
     awards in such cases, which could lead to efforts to attach 
     U.S. Government property to satisfy those awards. Given the 
     broad range of U.S. activities and robust presence around the 
     world, including our Department's foreign bases and 
     facilities abroad, we would have numerous assets vulnerable 
     to such attempts.
       Third, it is likely that litigants will seek sensitive 
     government information in order to establish their case 
     against either a foreign state under JASTA in U.S. courts or 
     against the United States in a foreign court. This could 
     include classified intelligence data and analysis, as well as 
     sensitive operational information. While in the United States 
     classified information could potentially be withheld in 
     certain narrow circumstances in civil lawsuits brought by 
     private litigants against our allies and partners, no 
     legislation specifically protects classified information in 
     civil actions (unlike protections afforded in criminal 
     prosecutions) or under JASTA. Furthermore, if the United 
     States were to be sued in foreign courts, such information 
     would likely be sought by foreign plaintiffs, and it would be 
     up to the foreign court whether classified or sensitive U.S. 
     Government information sought by the litigants would be 
     protected from disclosure. Moreover, the classified 
     information could well be vital for our defense against the 
     accusations. Disclosure could put the United States in the

[[Page H6027]]

     difficult position of choosing between disclosing classified 
     or otherwise sensitive information or suffering adverse 
     rulings and potentially large damage awards for our refusal 
     to do so.
       Relatedly, foreign lawsuits will divert resources from 
     mission crucial tasks; they could subject our Service members 
     and civilians, as well as contractor personnel, to 
     depositions, subpoenas for trial testimony, and other 
     compulsory processes both here and abroad. Indeed, such 
     personnel might be held in civil or even criminal contempt if 
     they refused to appear or to divulge classified or other 
     sensitive information at the direction of a foreign court.
       Finally, allowing our partners and allies--not just 
     designated state sponsors of terrorism--to be subject to 
     lawsuits inside the United States will inevitably undermine 
     the trust and cooperation our forces need to accomplish their 
     important missions. By damaging our close and effective 
     cooperation with other countries, this could ultimately have 
     a chilling effect on our own counterterrorism efforts.
       Please let me know if there is any additional information 
     the Department can provide.
           Sincerely,
     Ash Carter.
                                  ____

                                                   Chairman of the


                                        Joint Chiefs of Staff,

                                                   Washington, DC.
     Hon. William M. ``Mac'' Thornberry,
     Chairman, Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for your 23 September 2016 
     letter regarding the President's veto of the Justice Against 
     Sponsors of Terrorism Act. I have read Secretary Carter's 
     response, and share his concerns on the potential second- and 
     third-order consequences of such legislation. As you 
     deliberate, I would ask that you consider the following 
     issues that affect the Joint Force.
       Any legislation that risks reciprocal treatment by foreign 
     governments would increase the vulnerability of U.S. Service 
     members to foreign legal action while acting in an official 
     capacity. For example, U.S. Service members, especially those 
     supporting counterterrorism operations, could be subjected to 
     a foreign court's jurisdiction if it is alleged that they 
     took actions that violated a foreign state's law. Whether the 
     allegations are ultimately proven to be without merit is not 
     an adequate guide, as the service members will have already 
     been subjected to the foreign court's litigation process.
       In those cases where a foreign government decides to 
     exercise jurisdiction over a U.S. Service member, the Service 
     member could be held in civil, or criminal, contempt should 
     they refuse to appear or otherwise comply with the foreign 
     court's orders. This concern would extend to cases where the 
     United States would be at risk of substantial monetary 
     damages, which could lead to attempts to seize U.S. military 
     property overseas in order to satisfy any monetary awards.
       If a U.S. Service member were to be sued in a foreign 
     court, it would be up to the foreign court to decide whether 
     classified or sensitive U.S. Government information would be 
     required as part of the litigation process. This could put 
     the United States in the position of choosing between the 
     disclosure of classified or sensitive information, and 
     subjecting a U.S. Service member to an adverse foreign court 
     ruling.
       Finally, regardless of the specific legislation being 
     considered, any legislation that effects the long-standing 
     principles of sovereignty should carefully consider any risks 
     to the close security cooperation relationships between the 
     United States and our allies and partners.
           Sincerely,
                                            Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.
                                       General, U.S. Marine Corps.

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Scott). Mr. Scott is a former member of the Judiciary 
Committee. He is now the ranking member on the Education and the 
Workforce Committee.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, the terrorist attacks perpetrated against our Nation 15 
years ago killed nearly 3,000 people. No one can fully fathom the grief 
still felt by families to lose their loved ones in such a horrific way. 
We understand the need to continue to seek justice against those who 
may have aided and abetted the individuals that orchestrated these 
attacks. However, this legislation is not the right way to go about 
achieving that justice.
  JASTA abrogates a core principle in international law--foreign 
sovereign immunity. There are already several exceptions to this 
immunity recognized by our Nation and others, but JASTA goes much 
further than any present exception or recognized practice of any 
national law. Mr. Speaker, as the gentleman from Texas just suggested, 
one fundamental indication of fairness of legislation is not how it 
would work to our benefit, but what we would think if it were used 
against us.
  If the United States decides to allow our citizens to haul foreign 
nations into American courts, what would we think of other nations 
enacting legislation allowing their citizens to do the same thing to 
us?
  Obviously, we would not want to put our diplomats, military, and 
private companies at that risk.
  Consider our Nation's actions in Iraq. While there may be questions 
about Saudi Arabia's indirect involvement in 9/11, there is no question 
about who the state-sponsored actor was in 2003 when we bombed Baghdad 
and killed and injured hundreds of thousands of people with little or 
no evidence that Iraq was any immediate threat to the United States or 
our allies.
  What would we think if Iraq enacted legislation similar to JASTA, 
allowing their citizens to sue the United States for acts perpetrated 
during the Iraqi war?
  American soldiers and contractors living and working in Iraq today 
could be hauled in to Iraqi court, tried by an Iraqi judge, held 
responsible by an Iraqi jury that would assess the amount of money owed 
to each and every Iraqi citizen killed or maimed.
  Furthermore, if they adopted similar legislation to this, other 
nations could sue the United States and our citizens for sponsoring 
organizations they deem as terrorist organizations. Unfortunately, 
these discussions are already taking place in capitals around the world 
because of this legislation.
  JASTA does not make clear how the evidence would be gathered to help 
build a credible case against a foreign nation.
  Would the plaintiffs be able to subpoena foreign officials? Or would 
the U.S. Department of State officials have to testify? Would we be 
required to expose sensitive materials in order to help American 
citizens prove their case? Again, how would we feel about foreign 
judges and juries deciding whether or not the United States sponsored 
terrorism?
  There are also questions about how the judgment under JASTA would be 
enforced. The legislation does not address how a court would enforce 
the judgment.
  Could foreign assets be attached? How would this process work if 
other countries enacted similar legislation? Would U.S. assets all over 
the world be subject to attachment to satisfy the foreign jury 
verdicts?
  Mr. Speaker, there are many other more responsible mechanisms that 
this body could enact to hold foreign actors accountable for their 
involvement in international terrorism without exposing the United 
States or our citizens to lawsuits all over the world.
  We should do the responsible thing, Mr. Speaker, and sustain the 
President's veto of this legislation.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute to respond to the 
gentleman from Texas and the gentleman from Virginia.
  First of all, with regard to some of the examples given by the 
gentleman from Texas, I want to make clear that this is the Foreign 
Sovereign Immunities Act that is being amended--foreign sovereign, not 
individuals. So if another country were to flip this and take action 
under their laws to do something in their courts, it would only apply 
to governments, not to individuals.
  So with regard to the assertions made by the gentleman from Virginia, 
many countries have already done what we are proposing to do here 
today. The whole tort rule that is utilized in the United States which 
says, just as an example, if you provided a bag of money to a terrorist 
in the United States, you can sue that foreign government in our 
country right now, in our courts right now. It would change so that if 
they provided the bag of money in Paris, you could do it there.
  Right now it is a loophole. Guess what? Any foreign government that 
wants to sponsor terrorism in the United States, what is the first 
thing they are going to do right now under current law?
  They are going to make sure that the money is transferred outside the 
United States so they are not subject to the jurisdiction of U.S. 
courts.
  Customary international law does not seem to require the entire tort 
limitation.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hultgren). The time of the gentleman has 
expired.

[[Page H6028]]

  

  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself an additional 1 minute.
  Mr. Speaker, Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on 
Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Properties would apply 
the territorial tort exception if the act or omission occurred in whole 
or in part in the territory of the state exercising jurisdiction.
  Most nations that have codified the exception appear to require some 
act or omission in their territories, but it is not clear that these 
nations have done so from a sense of international legal obligation 
rather than from comity. Even if customary international law were 
properly read to preclude a nation from applying the territorial tort 
exception solely on the basis of death and damage within its territory, 
the application of JASTA to the 9/11 cases, as an example, would still 
not violate international law since the 9/11 attacks clearly involved 
tortious acts in the United States.
  JASTA requires that the physical harm occur in the United States. But 
to have an exception that says that if people aid and abet from outside 
the United States, their government--the government--aids and abets 
from outside the United States, that government can evade the courts of 
the United States. That is wrong.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has again expired.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself an additional 30 seconds 
to point out one additional thing. Under JASTA, the President or his 
representative, the Secretary of State, can appear in the court where a 
lawsuit is brought and delay the proceedings for a period of time, but 
not forever.
  Then, if that time expires and whatever effort the United States has 
made to resolve this with a foreign government does not change the 
circumstances, they can still go back to the court and they can ask the 
court to delay further. But then it is up to the court to make that 
decision.
  Again, I urge my colleagues to override the President's veto.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. 
Lance).

                              {time}  1415

  Mr. LANCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of overriding 
the President's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.
  This is our constitutional prerogative. We in Congress can override 
the veto of a President, and in this case a strong bipartisan majority 
disagrees with the President. Earlier today, the Senate of the United 
States voted 97-1 in favor of an override.
  It is right and just that the victims of the horrific terrorist 
attacks of September 11, 2001, be able to pursue full justice in our 
courts of law. I am a lawyer, and I have worked with constitutional and 
statutory issues. I also represent a congressional district in New 
Jersey that lost 81 people on 9/11.
  Opposing views fear repercussions against the United States if this 
legislation becomes law, but the United States does not support, 
finance, or condone international terrorism. We are the Nation that 
historically has helped rid the world of evil, and we have nothing to 
fear from truth and justice. Nations around the world should recognize 
the fundamental justice in legal remedies against a terrorist network 
that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.
  It is our duty to provide the victims of 9/11 this legislative remedy 
by which they can seek the facts, and the Federal Government should be 
as transparent as possible with the evidence and the intelligence. The 
still grieving families of 9/11 deserve their day in court--they have 
waited long enough--and this narrowly tailored legislation will give 
them recourse for full justice and compensation.
  Mr. Speaker, any override of a Presidential veto is a serious and 
sober matter. I do not advocate an override lightly. I deeply respect 
the Office of the President of the United States. This President has 
never been overridden by the Congress. I believe, however, that an 
override is the better public policy in this momentous situation.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee), who serves both on the 
Homeland Security Committee and Judiciary Committee with great skill.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member.
  I think it is important to state on the floor of the House that 
President Obama has been an outstanding Commander in Chief.
  I have served on the Judiciary Committee proudly for the tenure I 
have had in the United States Congress and on the Homeland Security 
Committee since the tragedy of 9/11. I am committed to engaging in 
efforts to develop policies that anticipate and respond to new and 
emerging challenges to the security of our Nation and to the peace and 
safety of the world.
  However, I will never forget September 11. 2,977 men, women, and 
children were murdered by 19 hijackers who took commercial aircraft and 
used them as missiles. I stood on the front steps of the Capitol and 
sang with Members of this Congress ``God Bless America.'' I visited the 
World Trade Center in the months and weeks after this heinous tragedy 
and grieved continuously each year as we commemorate, sadly, 9/11.
  9/11 will always be remembered, and the loss of these families will 
always be painful and piercing. Just recently, the Judiciary Committee 
had a hearing on the bill the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism 
Act. The supporters of the bill offered powerful and compelling 
testimony in favor of ensuring that 9/11 families have access to their 
day in court against the parties directly and vicariously liable for 
the injuries that they suffer.
  Now, I also take into consideration the concerns of the 
administration, which deal with undermining sovereign immunity and 
opening up U.S. diplomats and military servicemembers to legal action 
overseas if foreign countries pass reciprocal laws. In addition, the 
President has said that JASTA would upset longstanding international 
principles regarding sovereign immunity, putting in place rules that, 
if applied globally, could have serious implications.
  However, 9/11 families may sue a country designated as a state 
sponsor of terrorism, such as Iran today. The only thing that this bill 
would allow is that U.S. citizens be able to sue countries without that 
designation.
  Let me suggest to our friends that, under the facts that we know, 19 
of these attackers on 9/11 were Saudi citizens. They did not represent 
the government. This is not giving permission to sue the government 
under its government actions as much as it is to recognize that these 
were citizens who operated outside of that realm and to allow these 
citizens of the United States to have relief. You cannot deny the 
citizenship of these individuals. I would also suggest that these 
individuals are common criminals, and why should individuals who have 
been harmed be prevented from addressing the common criminality because 
they are from a different country?
  I would make the argument that we are not finished with this at this 
point. I hope there will be further discussions. I do believe that if 
countries decided to take up and sue legitimate actions of the United 
States in defense of their nation, they would have the full power and 
force of law of the United States to be defended. I don't believe that 
will happen.
  I do believe that we should continue further discussion on this very 
important topic. But as well, having been a senior member, again, on 
the Homeland Security Committee during the many meetings that we had 
with the 9/11 families and ultimately passing the 9/11 legislation as I 
chaired the Transportation Security Subcommittee, I believe that 
listening over and over again to the devastation and the need to ensure 
there are laws to protect this Nation, that this measure provides the 
extra opportunity to address the common criminality of individuals 
whose citizenship lies in one place or another.
  We should stand, however, in protecting U.S. diplomats, military 
service, and intelligence community members, and I believe this country 
has the power to do so. I believe, at this point, the matter of the 9/
11 families should be addressed, and we should address it today.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Donovan).
  Mr. DONOVAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Goodlatte for yielding.

[[Page H6029]]

  Foreign threats should never dictate American policy, but that is, 
unfortunately, what happened with President Obama's veto of this 
legislation.
  That a foreign government can hide behind sovereign immunity after 
slaughtering Americans in our own homeland is an outrage, so it is no 
wonder that this bill was passed by Congress unanimously. Terror 
victims can already sue individuals for complicity in an attack. A 
foreign government shouldn't be immune from justice simply because it 
is a government.
  For those of my colleagues who may be reluctant about voting for an 
override of this veto, I think Chairman Goodlatte's explanation of the 
bill should give them peace. There are already nine exemptions to the 
sovereign immunity law, and JASTA will not create a tenth. It modifies 
one of those nine.
  JASTA is about 9/11 victims who have waited more than 15 years to 
have their day in court. It is about the families of over 300 people 
killed that day who lived in my congressional district. It is about my 
friend, Lori Mascali, whose husband, firefighter Joseph Mascali, died 
that day saving other people's lives.

  I urge my colleagues to put American victims of terror first by 
voting to override the President's veto.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman 
from New York (Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney).
  Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Conyers 
for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to express my support for overriding the 
President's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.
  I understand and give weight to the President's concerns, but I 
believe that this bill is focused on and applies to only those attacks 
that are committed on U.S. soil that harm U.S. nationals. The attacks 
of 9/11 were singular acts of appalling cruelty. They were targeted 
knowingly and specifically at civilian noncombatants. They were 
barbaric crimes that violated all norms of civilized conduct and all of 
the international conventions of armed conflict.
  Though the hijackers of those planes died that day, it is virtually 
indisputable that there are people who conspired with them in the 
planning, preparation, execution, and financing of those horrific acts 
who walk the streets freely in foreign capitals today. They walk 
comfortably, securely, smugly, believing that because of a peculiar 
interpretation of international law, they are safe from the long arm of 
justice, immune to any consequences.
  JASTA, as it is called, is needed to correct some shortcomings in 
previous legislation and lower court decisions. The bill is needed to 
make it possible for the survivors and for the families of the victims 
of savage acts of international terrorism to seek a measure of justice 
through the civil courts.
  This bill is needed because both Congress and the executive branch 
have affirmed that civil litigation against terror sponsors, including 
foreign governments, can have an important deterrent effect.
  The attacks of 9/11 were roundly condemned by people and governments 
around the world. So this bill is needed not just by the families of 
those who died in New York and at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania; it 
is needed to send a message to people all around the world, a message 
that the long arm of American justice will not be deterred, will never 
tire, and will never falter.
  As we have done in the past, we will pursue the perpetrators of such 
savage acts of inhumanity, as we saw on 9/11, to their very graves. 
There is no loophole and there will be no escape.
  Yes, it may be true that there are risks in passing a bill like this 
that may have some unintended consequences, but compare that to the 
risks of doing nothing and the risks that are very real that are all 
too present.
  I urge my colleagues to not forget and to overturn the President's 
veto. It is in America's interest, and it is a deterrent to future 
crimes.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
New Jersey (Mr. Smith).
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my good friend, 
Mr. Goodlatte, for yielding; and I want to thank Mr. Goodlatte and Mr. 
King for their extraordinary leadership on this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to the President of the United 
States, the central argument in this veto message accompanying the 
Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, reciprocity is weak, 
unsupported, and egregiously flawed.
  The White House drafters of the veto message either didn't read the 
carefully crafted bipartisan bill or are seeking to conflate the plain 
legislative text since JASTA only permits access to U.S. courts by 
waiving immunity from foreign governments, not foreign government 
officials or employees, and corrects conflicting case law, except in 
the cases where someone knowingly aids, abets, or conspires with a 
State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization.
  Thus, the President is wrong to assert that, under the hallowed 
principle of reciprocity, U.S. officials and military personnel could 
be subjected to lawsuits. It is worth noting that nothing precludes 
that now or ever, but as an argument for veto, it simply doesn't pass 
muster.
  While sovereign immunity has its place in the conduct of responsible 
diplomacy, it is not absolute, as even the 1976 Foreign Sovereign 
Immunities Act contains nine exceptions.
  In 2008, Mr. Speaker, as you know, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 
Second Circuit dismissed legal action against Saudi Arabia and other 
defendants, holding U.S. courts lacked jurisdiction. Other actions by 
the courts have thwarted the full accountability Americans expect and 
deserve.
  JASTA corrects that.
  The victims of 9/11 and their grieving families deserve what JASTA 
empowers: a judicial process to discover the unfettered and ugly truth 
that, to this day, remains cloaked, concealed, and covered up. JASTA 
provides a way to hold perpetrators and enablers of terrorism to 
account.
  Anyone who has read the recently declassified 28 pages of findings 
from the House-Senate Intelligence Committee's joint inquiry in 2002, 
despite the heavy redactions, knows the provocative evidence of Saudi 
complicity in 9/11, and that remains unexamined. The 28 pages are 
filled with names and suspected associations with the Government of 
Saudi Arabia.
  Mr. Speaker, I have worked with and befriended many of the 9/11 
surviving family members--many who died on 9/11 were from my district--
and I can state unequivocally that there would have been no 9/11 
Commission and other historic policy initiatives without the 9/11 
family members. They have been extraordinary, tenacious, committed, and 
courageous.
  On September 20, many family members gathered outside the White House 
to appeal to the President to sign JASTA. Two of the remarkable widows 
from New Jersey, Lorie and Mindy, carried this sign to my left, your 
right, with a picture of President Obama and Saudi King Salman from the 
front page of the New York Daily News.

                              {time}  1430

  The headline read: ``Don't choose them over us''--the U.S., the 
United States.
  The President chose the king, and he vetoed the bill. We can correct 
that today. Vote to override.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  There is no doubt that there is so much passion involved in this with 
the bill's supporters; but, as legislators, I would like to urge that 
one carefully and thoughtfully consider the long-term interests of our 
country.
  For the foregoing reasons, I am pleased to indicate that the scholars 
and others who will be voting to sustain the President's veto are 
Michael Mukasey, the former Attorney General under George W. Bush; 
Stephen Hadley, the former National Security Adviser for that 
President; Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism 
adviser for Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; and Thomas Pickering, the 
former United States Ambassador to the United Nations. They all agree 
that we must be considerate of the long-term interests of our own 
country.
  For the foregoing reasons and those stated by the national security 
experts, the international law scholars, and the President of the 
United States, I find that I must vote to sustain the President's veto.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

[[Page H6030]]

  

  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to override the 
President's veto. It is the right thing to do. Justice is the right 
thing--to let American citizens have access to their courts for torts 
for terrorist attacks that occur on American soil. This bill is a 
modest amendment to already existing exemptions to the Foreign 
Sovereign Immunities Act. It is the right thing to do. I urge my 
colleagues to join me in overriding the President's veto.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. JOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to share my concerns with S. 
2040, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA. The 
President, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff, the CIA Director, and the Chairman of the House Armed 
Services Committee have all issued statements against this legislation, 
and after having spoken with local veterans in Pinellas County who have 
retired from the armed services, I have come to the decision to support 
the President's veto.
  `Terrorism' at the hands of a foreign government is simply another 
term for an act of war, and we should respond to these acts with every 
ounce of resolve our nation can muster. We have done so for 
generations, relying on military, diplomatic and political leadership 
to respond appropriately and deploy our men and women in uniform to 
defeat our enemies. Countless men and women have sacrificed their last 
full measure for the cause of our freedom and security.
  But we don't litigate acts of war in civil courtrooms. We litigate 
them on battlefields, with valor and with overwhelming force.
  By authorizing courtroom litigation of acts of war, we empower other 
nations to do the same. And we imperil the security of our military and 
diplomatic personnel, as well as our assets in regions around the 
globe.
  Consider the number of times our nation intervenes for the cause of 
freedom and security around the globe. Now consider if our personnel 
and assets on the ground were subject to civil liability in those 
nations. It compromises our mission, and it compromises the security of 
our men and women in uniform and those in our diplomatic corps.
  Mr. Speaker, when the President vetoed this legislation, he stated 
that the United States already has means to act against nations who 
would wish to commit acts of terrorism against the United States by 
designating them as State Sponsors of Terrorism. When this designation 
is made, all sovereign immunity protections for individuals are 
removed, subjecting the violating country to a multitude of sanctions.
  Likewise, on Monday Defense Secretary Ash Carter sent a letter to the 
Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee stating that, while he 
``agrees with the intent of the bill, which is to honor 9/11 victims,'' 
the potential second- and third-order consequences of the legislation 
``could be devastating to the Department and its service members.'' 
Secretary Carter shared concerns that other nations might enact 
reciprocal policies, threatening the sovereign immunity of our service 
members based on justifications that are far less stringent.
  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also stated that ``any 
legislation that risks reciprocal treatment by foreign governments 
would increase the vulnerability of U.S. service members to foreign 
legal action while acting in an official capacity,'' and that any court 
proceedings could ``put the United States in the position of choosing 
between the disclosure of classified or sensitive information, and 
subjecting a U.S. service member to an adverse foreign court ruling.'' 
Today, CIA Director Brennan added his concerns, that he believes this 
action ``will have grave implications for the national security of the 
United States. The most damaging consequence would be for those U.S. 
Government officials who dutifully work overseas on behalf of our 
country.''
  These concerns are affirmed by many national security experts who 
penned an open letter asking for the veto to be upheld. The letter was 
signed by many prominent former members of the executive branch, 
including Stephen Hadley, Richard Clarke, and Thomas Pickering.
  Nothing can heal the wounds of the surviving families of September 
11, 2001. Nothing can heal the wounds of a nation whose heart breaks 
for those innocent lives lost at the hands of our enemies. We can honor 
their legacies by making the world more secure--by exerting our 
national security leadership, our military force, around the globe to 
contain the threat of terror. I believe JASTA would ultimately 
undermine our ability to secure freedom and to secure our homeland.
  We will never forget the tragedy and loss of that day. We will never 
forget the heartbreak. And let us never weaken our resolve to defeat 
the forces of terror, so that we may ensure that we as a nation, and 
our brothers and sisters who suffered such loss, never face such a 
tragedy again.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I rise to uphold President Obama's veto of 
the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (S. 2040).
  All Americans were deeply affected by the terrorist attacks on 
September 11, 2001, none more so than the families who lost loved ones 
on that terrible day. President Obama has been unyielding in his 
pursuit of those who perpetrated the attacks. Since day one of his 
Administration, President Obama has made the destruction of Al-Qaeda a 
top national security priority. He has delivered on this promise, 
systematically devastating Al-Qaeda's leadership and killing Osama bin 
Laden.
  I am profoundly sympathetic to the families of victims who were lost 
on September 11, 2001 and while I understand the intent behind S. 2040, 
I remain concerned that this legislation would be damaging to our 
national security. Not only would it not prevent future terrorist 
attacks against the United States, it would expose U.S. personnel 
serving overseas to lawsuits in the civil and criminal courts of 
foreign countries. For these reasons, I vote to uphold President 
Obama's veto of S. 2040.
  The United States government has an array of legal tools that it uses 
to deal with nations that sponsor terrorism. This includes listing the 
offending nation as a state sponsor of terrorism, imposing sanctions, 
and the forfeiture of that nation's right to sovereign immunity in U.S. 
courts. However, these measures are intended as an extreme consequence 
for nations that act outside of international norms. S. 2040 would 
allow terrorism related lawsuits in U.S. courts against any nation, not 
only those designated as a sponsor of terrorism by our government, 
which is alleged to have contributed to an act of terrorism in the 
United States. This would begin an erosion of the principle of 
sovereign immunity for every nation, including U.S. allies, and expose 
their government and personnel to lawsuits in U.S. courts.
  The reciprocal effect that this erosion of sovereign immunity could 
have on U.S. personnel overseas, including our men and women in 
uniform, is deeply concerning. Were S. 2040 to become law, it would set 
an international precedent for other nations to follow. U.S. personnel 
serving in foreign countries could be subjected to civil and criminal 
lawsuits in foreign courts, putting them at risk and potentially 
exposing sensitive national security information in the process. These 
are the people we depend upon in our fight against terrorist 
organizations like ISIL, and we must ensure that proper legal 
safeguards are in place to protect them.
  As a Member of Congress, it is my duty to ensure that our service 
members and diplomatic personnel overseas are afforded the proper legal 
protections that allow them to do their jobs and protect this nation. 
S. 2040 unfortunately fails to ensure these protections and 
subsequently I will vote to sustain President Obama's veto.
  I am attaching an editorial from the New York Times on this issue.

                            [Sept. 28, 2016]

                 The Risks of Suing the Saudis for 9/11

       The Senate and the House are expected to vote this week on 
     whether to override President Obama's veto of a bill that 
     would allow families of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks 
     to sue Saudi Arabia for any role it had in the terrorist 
     operations. The lawmakers should let the veto stand.
       The legislation, called the Justice Against Sponsors of 
     Terrorism Act, would expand an exception to sovereign 
     immunity, the legal principle that protects foreign countries 
     and their diplomats from lawsuits in the American legal 
     system. While the aim--to give the families their day in 
     court--is compassionate, the bill complicates the United 
     States' relationship with Saudi Arabia and could expose the 
     American government, citizens and corporations to lawsuits 
     abroad. Moreover, legal experts like Stephen Vladeck of the 
     University of Texas School of Law and Jack Goldsmith of 
     Harvard Law School doubt that the legislation would actually 
     achieve its goal.
       Co-sponsored by Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New 
     York, and Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, the 
     measure is intended to overcome a series of court rulings 
     that have blocked all lawsuits filed by the 9/11 families 
     against the Saudi government. The Senate passed the bill 
     unanimously in May, and the House gave its approval this 
     month.
       The legislation would, among other things, amend a 1976 law 
     that grants other countries broad immunity from American 
     lawsuits--unless the country is on the State Department's 
     list of state sponsors of terrorism (Iran, Sudan and Syria) 
     or is alleged to have committed a terrorist attack that 
     killed Americans on United States soil. The new bill would 
     clarify that foreign governments can be held liable for 
     aiding terrorist groups, even if that conduct occurred 
     overseas.
       Advocates say the measure is narrowly drawn, but 
     administration officials argue that it would apply much more 
     broadly and result in retaliatory actions by other nations. 
     The European Union has warned that if the bill becomes law, 
     other countries could adopt similar legislation defining 
     their own

[[Page H6031]]

     exemptions to sovereign immunity. Because no country is more 
     engaged in the world than the United States--with military 
     bases, drone operations, intelligence missions and training 
     programs--the Obama administration fears that Americans could 
     be subject to legal actions abroad.
       The legislation is motivated by a belief among the 9/11 
     families that Saudi Arabia played a role in the attacks, 
     because 15 of the 19 hijackers, who were members of Al Qaeda, 
     were Saudis. But the independent American commission that 
     investigated the attacks found no evidence that the Saudi 
     government or senior Saudi officials financed the terrorists.
       Proponents of the legislation cite two assassination cases 
     in which legal claims were allowed against Chile and Taiwan. 
     Administration officials, however, say that those cases 
     alleged the direct involvement of foreign government agents 
     operating in the United States.
       The current debate is complicated by the fact that Saudi 
     Arabia is a difficult ally, at odds with the United States 
     over the Iran nuclear deal, a Saudi-led war in Yemen and the 
     war in Syria. It is home of the fundamentalist strand of 
     Islam known as Wahhabism, which has inspired many of the 
     extremists the United States is trying to defeat. But it is 
     also a partner in combating terrorism. The legislation could 
     damage this fraught relationship. Riyadh has already 
     threatened to withdraw billions of dollars in American-based 
     assets to protect them from court action.
       The desire to assist the Sept. 11 families is 
     understandable, and the bill is expected to become law. The 
     question is, at what cost?

  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I would like to 
express my opposition to the veto override vote that occurred earlier 
today in the U.S. Senate on S. 2040, the Justice Against Sponsors of 
Terrorism Act, and that will take place shortly in the U.S. House. 
While 9/11 will continue to haunt Americans and loved ones will always 
mourn those lost during the terrorist attacks on that day, this 
legislation is not the solution. I am deeply concerned for the future 
implications of this measure.
  JASTA would allow U.S. nationals to sue foreign governments in 
federal court even if that country is not on the Department of State's 
list of state sponsors of terrorism. Lawsuits must involve death, 
injury, or property damage and must be caused by an act of 
international terrorism in the U.S. The bill also allows civil claims 
to be brought against foreign states or officials that are state 
sponsors of terrorism if their conduct contributes to an attack that 
kills an American outside of the United States.
  This legislation would not protect Americans from future attacks nor 
would it improve national security. This bill would remove reciprocal 
agreements that now protect not only other allies, but also the U.S., 
from such lawsuits in other countries. The long-term impact on our 
country's national security is at stake. This bill would place not only 
our close security cooperation relationships at risk, but also U.S. 
service members abroad.
  Families are looking for accountability in the ability to sue foreign 
governments, specifically Saudi Arabia. I have deep sympathy for these 
families who have suffered so much. However, I do not believe that this 
is the most viable path to justice. This bill could unfortunately 
backfire and cause more concern to the counterterrorism community. 
While we still have the chance, I urge my House colleagues to listen to 
our experts who have given us many warnings about the implications of 
this legislation.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I fully sympathize with the families of 
9/11 victims and understand their desire to hold people accountable for 
that horrific, senseless, cruel attack.
  This sympathy, understandably, prompted many of my colleagues to 
approve S. 2040 when it was first before Congress. Yet, I am convinced 
that the Presidential veto of this legislation should be upheld. 
Everyone should read his veto message on S. 2040 to understand the 
complications and the risks.
  We already have a mechanism to deal with state-sponsored terrorism--a 
mechanism to pursue it. When it is designated, we have very strong 
sanctions that we can employ.
  The purpose of such a mechanism is to ensure those sanctions and 
other steps are brought to bear only after there has been a careful 
review that establishes state-sponsored terrorism. In the case of this 
legislation, the authority is transferred, not just to the attorneys of 
the 9/11 families, but to any individual who wants to file a lawsuit. 
This opens the United States up to a wide range of repercussions that 
could have negative consequences for Americans.
  Not only would it potentially compromise our security efforts and our 
diplomatic relationships, but it also invites retaliation by other 
countries. Millions of Americans travel overseas every year and 
hundreds of thousands of Americans work overseas including soldiers and 
diplomats, all of whom could now be subjected to harsher activities by 
other governments without the due process afforded by the United States 
government. It's not just that we could have foreign action against 
American assets, but foreign action against Americans.
  I think the President's veto decision is wise, and I support it.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, the House now has before it the 
President's Veto Message accompanying S. 2040, the ``Justice Against 
Sponsors of Terrorism Act,'' which would authorize private litigation 
against foreign governments in the federal courts of the United States 
based on allegations that such foreign governments' actions abroad made 
them responsible for terrorism-related injuries sustained on U.S. soil.
  I have stated on numerous times that I believe that President Barack 
Obama is one of the best and most consequential presidents in American 
history; his stewardship of American foreign and national security has 
kept our nation safe and restored its reputation as the most respected 
nation in the world.
  President Obama has been an outstanding Commander-in-Chief exhibiting 
exceptional judgment, judgment marked by vision and purposeful, conduct 
that has been steady and restrained.
  Mr. Speaker, I take seriously the decision whether to override a 
presidential veto, particularly one relating to national security and 
foreign policy but, as it is a duty imposed on the Congress by the 
Constitution, I do not shrink from the responsibility.
  I have not voted to override a veto during his tenure.
  Mr. Speaker, seventeen days ago, we observed the 15th anniversary of 
the day our nation faced the greatest loss of life on U.S. soil from a 
terrorist attack.
  The years that have passed since that day have not dimmed my memory 
or diminished my resolve to see an end to terrorism not only in the 
United States, but around the world.
  As a Member of Congress and a senior Member of the Committees on 
Homeland Security and the Judiciary, both of which deal with national 
security issues, I have long been committed and engaged in efforts to 
develop policies that anticipate and respond to new and emerging 
challenges to the security of our nation and the peace and safety of 
the world.
  I will never forget September 11, 2001 when 2,977 men, women and 
children were murdered by 19 hijackers who took commercial aircraft and 
used them as missiles.
  I stood on the East Front steps of the Capitol on September 11, 2001, 
along with 150 members of the House of Representatives and sang ``God 
Bless America.''
  I visited the site of the World Trade Center Towers in the aftermath 
of the attacks and grieved over the deaths of so many of our men, 
women, and children.
  I want to thank and commend the work of our first responder community 
on that day and every day since September 11 for their efforts to 
protect their communities and our nation from acts of terrorism.
  Mr. Speaker, September 11, 2001 will always be remembered as a day of 
tragedy and heroism, heartbreak and courage, and shared loss.
  But the loss remains especially painful to those whose loved ones 
died or were injured by the criminal acts of terrorists on that fateful 
day.
  On numerous occasions in the months and years after September 11, I 
met with family members of 9/11 victims and witnessed their devotion to 
our nation and empathized with their pain, loss, hurt, and desire to 
obtain justice for their loved ones.
  Mr. Speaker, in 2007, after many years of tireless struggle, Congress 
passed H.R. 1, the landmark ``Implementing 9/11 Commission 
Recommendations Act of 2007,'' the first bill passed by the Democratic-
led 110th Congress after regaining the majority. As a member of the 
Homeland Security Committee, I worked very hard in getting this bill 
passed.
  H.R. 1 was signed into law on August 3, 2007 and implemented the 33 
recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, a body comprised of ten of the 
most distinguished citizens in this country. Many of the families 
fought hard for this bill.
  As a senior member of the Homeland Security, and Chair of its 
Transportation Security Subcommittee, I worked closely with my 
colleagues across the aisle and in the Senate to strengthen the 
provisions in H.R. 1 designed to improve transportation security 
planning, information sharing, and to prevent terrorist from travelling 
to our country.
  After passage of H.R. 1, several 9/11 families brought suit if U.S. 
courts seeking relief for injuries alleged to have been caused by 
perpetrators of the September 11 attacks and allegedly sponsored by 
certain nation-states.
  Each of their law suits were dismissed by the courts for lack of 
subject-matter jurisdiction since under current law such actions were 
barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity except those brought 
against nation-states listed by the U.S. Department of State as ``state 
sponsors of terrorism.''
  This is what led to the introduction of the ``Justice Against 
Sponsors of Terrorism Act,''

[[Page H6032]]

which would allow private litigation against foreign governments in 
U.S. courts based on allegations that such foreign governments' actions 
abroad made them responsible for terrorism-related injuries on U.S. 
soil.
  Thus, the ``Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act,'' amends the 
Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 to create a limited new 
exception to the Act's general grant of foreign sovereign immunity.
  Mr. Speaker, this past July the Judiciary Committee, upon which I 
sit, held a hearing on S. 2040, the ``Justice Against Sponsors of 
Terrorism Act,'' at which the bill's supporters offered powerful and 
compelling testimony in favor of insuring that 9/11 families have 
access to their day in U.S. courts against the parties directly and 
vicariously liable for the injuries they suffered.
  As the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, 
Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigation, I am committed to 
doing all that I can to ensure that they receive their day in court.
  I am sensitive, however, to the concerns raised by the Administration 
regarding unintended consequences that may result if the bill is passed 
in its current form.
  In particular, the Administration, allied nations, and others point 
out that enactment of S. 2040 in its current form may lead to 
retaliation by other countries against the United States.
  Additionally, the Administration raises the legitimate concern that 
if enacted in its current form, S. 2040 may hamper cooperation from 
other nations because they may becqme more reluctant to share sensitive 
intelligence out of fear that such information may be disclosed in 
litigation.
  I am hopeful, however, that after this vote, these legitimate 
concerns can be addressed and resolved no matter the outcome and I look 
forward to continuing to work with the Administration, the bill's 
sponsors and supporters, and representatives of the 9/11 families to 
ensure that the 9/11 victims receive justice without substantial harm 
to our national security interests.
  Mr. Speaker, for these reasons, I will vote to override the 
President's veto of S. 2040.
  I thank the House and Senate sponsors of this important legislation, 
my colleagues Congressmen Peter King and Jerrold Nadler of New York, 
and Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Charles Schumer of New York, for 
their tireless efforts on behalf of fairness and justice for the 9/11 
families.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the previous question is 
ordered.
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is, Will the House, on 
reconsideration, pass the bill, the objections of the President to the 
contrary notwithstanding?
  Under the Constitution, the vote must be by the yeas and nays.
  Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, this 15-minute vote on passing S. 
2040, the objections of the President to the contrary notwithstanding, 
will be followed by 5-minute votes on ordering the previous question on 
House Resolution 897; adopting House Resolution 897, if ordered; and 
suspending the rules and passing S. 3283.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 348, 
nays 77, answered ``present'' 1, not voting 5, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 564]

                               YEAS--348

     Abraham
     Adams
     Aderholt
     Aguilar
     Allen
     Amash
     Amodei
     Ashford
     Babin
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barton
     Beatty
     Becerra
     Bera
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blum
     Bost
     Boustany
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (PA)
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Bridenstine
     Brooks (AL)
     Brooks (IN)
     Brown (FL)
     Brownley (CA)
     Buchanan
     Bucshon
     Burgess
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Byrne
     Calvert
     Capuano
     Cardenas
     Carney
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Cartwright
     Castro (TX)
     Chabot
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clawson (FL)
     Cleaver
     Coffman
     Cole
     Collins (GA)
     Collins (NY)
     Comstock
     Connolly
     Cook
     Costa
     Costello (PA)
     Courtney
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Crenshaw
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Culberson
     Curbelo (FL)
     Davidson
     Davis, Rodney
     DeFazio
     Delaney
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     Denham
     Dent
     DeSantis
     Deutch
     Diaz-Balart
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Dold
     Donovan
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Duckworth
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Duncan (TN)
     Ellmers (NC)
     Emmer (MN)
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Esty
     Farenthold
     Fincher
     Fitzpatrick
     Fleischmann
     Fleming
     Flores
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Foster
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Fudge
     Gabbard
     Gallego
     Garrett
     Gibbs
     Gibson
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Gowdy
     Graham
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Griffith
     Guinta
     Guthrie
     Gutierrez
     Hahn
     Hanna
     Hardy
     Harper
     Harris
     Hastings
     Heck (NV)
     Hensarling
     Herrera Beutler
     Hice, Jody B.
     Higgins
     Hill
     Himes
     Holding
     Honda
     Hoyer
     Hudson
     Huelskamp
     Huffman
     Huizenga (MI)
     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurd (TX)
     Hurt (VA)
     Israel
     Jackson Lee
     Jeffries
     Jenkins (KS)
     Jenkins (WV)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones
     Jordan
     Joyce
     Katko
     Keating
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kilmer
     King (NY)
     Kinzinger (IL)
     Knight
     Kuster
     Labrador
     LaHood
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Langevin
     Larson (CT)
     Latta
     Lawrence
     Levin
     Lieu, Ted
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Loebsack
     Lofgren
     Long
     Loudermilk
     Love
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     Lujan Grisham (NM)
     Lujan, Ben Ray (NM)
     Lummis
     Lynch
     MacArthur
     Maloney, Carolyn
     Maloney, Sean
     Marchant
     Marino
     Massie
     McCarthy
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McHenry
     McKinley
     McMorris Rodgers
     McNerney
     McSally
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Meeks
     Meng
     Messer
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Moolenaar
     Mooney (WV)
     Mullin
     Mulvaney
     Murphy (FL)
     Murphy (PA)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Neugebauer
     Newhouse
     Noem
     Nolan
     Norcross
     Nugent
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Pallone
     Palmer
     Pascrell
     Paulsen
     Payne
     Pearce
     Pelosi
     Perry
     Peters
     Peterson
     Pingree
     Pittenger
     Pitts
     Pocan
     Poliquin
     Polis
     Pompeo
     Posey
     Price (NC)
     Price, Tom
     Rangel
     Ratcliffe
     Reed
     Reichert
     Renacci
     Rice (NY)
     Rice (SC)
     Rigell
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney (FL)
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Rouzer
     Roybal-Allard
     Royce
     Ruiz
     Russell
     Ryan (OH)
     Salmon
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanford
     Sarbanes
     Scalise
     Schrader
     Schweikert
     Scott, Austin
     Scott, David
     Sensenbrenner
     Serrano
     Sewell (AL)
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Sinema
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Stefanik
     Stivers
     Stutzman
     Swalwell (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Thompson (PA)
     Tiberi
     Tipton
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Trott
     Tsongas
     Upton
     Valadao
     Van Hollen
     Vela
     Velazquez
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Walker
     Walorski
     Walters, Mimi
     Walz
     Wasserman Schultz
     Watson Coleman
     Weber (TX)
     Webster (FL)
     Wenstrup
     Westerman
     Westmoreland
     Williams
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (IA)
     Young (IN)
     Zeldin
     Zinke

                                NAYS--77

     Bass
     Benishek
     Beyer
     Blumenauer
     Bonamici
     Buck
     Capps
     Carson (IN)
     Chaffetz
     Clay
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Conaway
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Cummings
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     DeGette
     DeSaulnier
     DesJarlais
     Edwards
     Ellison
     Farr
     Frankel (FL)
     Garamendi
     Grayson
     Grijalva
     Grothman
     Hartzler
     Heck (WA)
     Hinojosa
     Issa
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jolly
     Kaptur
     Kelly (IL)
     Kind
     King (IA)
     Kline
     Larsen (WA)
     Lee
     Lewis
     Matsui
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McGovern
     Moore
     Moulton
     Nunes
     O'Rourke
     Perlmutter
     Quigley
     Ribble
     Richmond
     Ruppersberger
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Scott (VA)
     Sessions
     Sherman
     Smith (WA)
     Speier
     Stewart
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thornberry
     Turner
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Visclosky
     Waters, Maxine
     Welch
     Wilson (FL)
     Yarmuth
     Young (AK)

                        ANSWERED ``PRESENT''--1

       
     Castor (FL)
       

                             NOT VOTING--5

     Black
     Kirkpatrick
     Poe (TX)
     Rush
     Sanchez, Loretta

                              {time}  1501

  Messrs. RICHMOND, DesJARLAIS, CARSON of Indiana, GROTHMAN, and Ms. 
WILSON of Florida changed their vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Messrs. COURTNEY, McNERNEY, Mrs. LAWRENCE, Messrs. JODY B. HICE of 
Georgia, HIGGINS, and KELLY of Mississippi changed their vote from 
``nay'' to ``yea.''
  So, two-thirds having voted in favor thereof, the bill was passed, 
the objections of the President to the contrary notwithstanding.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will notify the Senate of the 
action of the House.

                          ____________________