The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, continue to cast a long shadow over American politics, and have now led to the first congressional override of a veto signed by President Barack Obama.
After a series of impassioned floor speeches Wednesday morning, both the U.S. Senate and House acted with sweeping bipartisan comity, rejecting the president’s opposition to a bill that allows the families of American victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue the government of Saudi Arabia.
The months-long debate over the bill split some longtime national security alliances in surprising ways. GOP Sen. John McCain was a vocal supporter of the bill, while his fellow Republican and usually reliable partner on such issues, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, argued against it.
The Senate voted 97-1, and the House, 348 to 77.