(WTNH) — A Middletown man whose father was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks is speaking out about President Obama’s decision to veto the September 11 bill. The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA, would allow families of victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for its alleged backing of the terrorists behind the attacks. When President Obama rejected the bill he warned that if it were passed, it could lead to severe consequences for diplomats and troops overseas. However, those who support it argue that it only applies to acts of terrorism that occur on U.S. soil.
Brett Eagleson was just 15 years old when his father, Bruce Eagleson, was killed in the 9/11 attacks. The family, which has lived in Middletown and Middlefield, is now looking for answers, and they’re hoping the bill will help them learn more about what happened that day. Though Eagleson wasn’t surprised when President Obama rejected the bill on Friday, he was disappointed.
“It was just an overwhelming blow to us and to all the other 9/11 families. It was devastating,” he said.
The bill would mean victims’ families would be able to sue in U.S. court for any role that the Saudi government may have played in the 9/11 attacks. Eagleson and his family have been pushing for the bill.
“It’s huge. I think my dad would be really proud of me and what my brothers have done and what my mom’s done in order to help try to find justice,” Eagleson said.
Democrats and republicans are now trying to override the veto to help families like Eagleson’s find justice. Eagleson got support from Connecticut’s congressional leaders, including Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal.
“I am very confident that the United States Senate is going to override the president’s veto, probably this Tuesday or Wednesday by an overwhelming vote,” said Blumenthal.
That would take a two-thirds majority vote in the House and Senate. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both said they disagree with the president’s decision. Eagleson says he and his family aren’t giving up their fight. They’re still hopeful that they’ll have their day in court.
“This is a little setback,” Eagleson said. “I don’t think it’s going to kill the bill, but it’s certainly going to make it more agonizing for the families.”
Congressional leaders and families who lost loved ones on 9/11 will speak out against the veto in Hartford on Monday.