Bill would allow victims of terrorism, including victims of the 9/11 attacks, and their families the right to sue foreign states and sponsors of terrorism
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today voted to override the President’s veto of bipartisan legislation she has backed to assist families of 9/11 victims. The bipartisan bill, which passed the Senate and House without opposition, would allow victims of terrorism, including victims of the 9/11 attacks, and their families the right to sue foreign states and sponsors of terrorism.
“We will never forget the horror and heartbreak of that day 15 years ago when terrorists committed an act of unspeakable evil against the American people—including Minnesota’s own Tom Burnett, Jr., Max Beilke, Gary Koecheler, and Gordon Aamoth, Jr.,” said Klobuchar. “I supported overriding the veto because this legislation – that passed Congress without opposition – would allow victims and their families to hold the people who helped fund these terrible acts of terror accountable.”
Born and raised in Bloomington, Tom Burnett, Jr. was one of the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 who courageously fought back against the Al Qaeda hijackers and prevented that plane from reaching its intended target.
Max Beilke, who graduated from Alexandria High School, was killed when hijackers attacked the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Beilke served 22 years active duty in the U.S. Army. Klobuchar led the effort to name the Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Alexandria in his honor.
Gary Koecheler, a St. Paul native, and Gordon Aamoth, Jr., a graduate of the Blake School in Hopkins, were both working in the south tower of the World Trade Center on September 11th.
Several court decisions since the 9/11 attacks have improperly blocked terrorism-related claims that Congress intended to permit. The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which was introduced by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and John Cornyn (R-TX), allows terrorism victims, including victims of the 9/11 attacks, the right to pursue foreign states and sponsors of terrorism in federal court. The bill allows Americans to bring financial damage claims against those who funded the attacks. The legislation would also afford this right to families of other American victims of terrorism that have occurred since September 11, 2001.