President Barack Obama is poised to veto legislation exposing Saudi Arabia to court action over the 9/11 attacks.
White House officials say Obama will reject the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” by a Friday veto deadline, after a little over a week of deliberation.
The administration is worried the bill — passed unanimously by Congress — would undermine state immunity, setting a dangerous legal precedent.
Obama’s aides tried and failed to have the legislation substantially revised, and now face the prospect of Republicans and Democrats joining forces to override the presidential veto, a relatively rare rebuke of White House power.
Behind the scenes, Riyadh has been lobbying furiously for the bill to be scrapped.
A senior Saudi Prince reportedly threatened to pull billions of dollars out of US assets if it becomes law, but Saudi officials now distance themselves from that claim.