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 By: Clare O’Keefe

 NEWBURGH- It has been 15 years since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, but this past week marked a memorable and monumental day for the families of the victims lost on that dark day.

On Wednesday Sept. 28, Congress passed the 9/11 bill, which will ultimately give some closure to the victims’ families.

After a veto from President Obama, Congress passed the 9/11 bill, also known as the Justice for Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), on a 97-1 vote. The bill will allow families of those killed in the terrorist attacks on 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia for the heinous crimes committed.

This new law gives American courts the power to seize Saudi property to pay for any deaths that occurred on 9/11. According to the New York Times, Saudi officials have warned that they might need to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars in holdings in the United States in order to avoid that outcome.

In total, there were 2,977 people who died that day in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the airline crash in Shanksville, PA. Of the 19 hijackers involved in the attacks, 15 of them were of Saudi nationality.

According to CNN, one of the reasons why President Obama vetoed the bill was because he did not want to damage America’s current relationship with Saudi Arabia, who is a key Middle Eastern ally.  He was even quoted as saying Congress’ veto override of the 9/11 bill was “a mistake.”

There is a cloud of uncertainty in the air concerning what will come from this bill. This could set a dangerous precedent for the future, and induce fear in the eyes of other countries that have harmed us.

On the flip side, this bill will bring (some) closure to grieving families who have been filled with displaced pain for the past 15 years—the 9/11 bill will allow those families to make sure people are held responsible for what happened to their loved ones.