Republicans Pass The Buck On JASTA - And Response (3)

  • Sunday, October 2, 2016
The Congressional Republicans, experiencing what the President called "buyer's remorse" about overriding Obama's veto of JASTA, have cast about looking for someone to blame for what they now consider to be a bad decision that, according to Bob Corker, will have adverse effects on American sovereignty and national security (after expressing these concerns, he voted for it, anyway, ).

So, who is responsible for what the Republicans now admit is a seriously flawed piece of legislation? Why, President Obama, of course. Yesterday, Mitch McConnell asserted that: "I think it was just a ball dropped,...I wish the president — I hate to blame everything on him, and I don’t — but it would have been helpful had he, uh, we had a discussion about this much earlier than last week.” John Cornyn also weighed in, stating: “What’s so remarkable to me is the detachment of this White House from anything to do with the legislative process,” Cornyn told reporters. “They were basically missing in action during this whole process.”

But...back in April, Mr Cornyn claimed that: “Unfortunately, the administration has worked to undercut progress of this legislation at every turn.” He went on to say that, “It appears that the Obama administration is pulling out all the stops to keep this bill from moving...I wish the President and his aides would spend as much time and energy working with us in a bipartisan manner as they have working against us trying to prevent victims of terrorism from receiving the justice they deserve.” 

This textbook example of chutzpah is characteristic of a Republican Party that not only is unwilling to accept responsibility for its actions, but is also more interested in partisan sniping and political grandstanding than in actually doing anything constructive to move the country forward.

Harry M. Hays

Signal Mountain

* * *

Thank you, Mr. Hays, for clarifying a mess that the Republicans created and, as usual, wish to dump at President Obama's feet.

I enjoyed reading Senator Corker's comments back to back, and I thank you for publishing them both on the same day. First he warned the authors of the JASTA bill that it was fraught with the potential to generate very serious problems for our country in our relationships throughout the world, then he promptly voted for it and claimed that, had the President responded earlier with his concerns, the members of Congress could have made appropriate revisions. Alas, I guess it was too late . . . . . .

It's rare for me to get to see a man speak so clearly out of both sides of his mouth at the same time.

Kathy Reed

* * *

The Senate voted to override the president’s veto of JASTA by a vote of 97 to 1. That vote total included 42 Democrats. It also is important to note that one of the two lead sponsors of the bill was Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the incoming leader of Senate Democrats. Furthermore, 27 of his colleagues joined Senator Corker in a letter to the bill’s sponsors following the vote noting that they supported the effort to provide the families who lost loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001 additional recourse but that action may be needed in the future to mitigate any unintended consequences. The letter was signed by 15 Democrats, 12 Republicans, and one Independent. 

Micah Johnson
Senator Corker's Office 

* * *

I have never hurt so much as I do each year when 9/11 rolls around.  On that fateful day I had the TV on precisely when it began with the first plane flying into the first tower.  As I watched the entire attack all day with tears rolling down my face, I was frozen with pain, fear, and the fact that our government allowed us to be so openly vulnerable that so many enemies could have lived, trained and plotted among us for so long to kill so many. 

When I learned about a proposal now five years later that some of the relatives of victims of that tragedy were trying to get legislation passed to allow them to sue Saudi Arabia for damages, my reaction was (as I learned during WWII) this is the price one pays during war.  I still believe that.  Otherwise why did Congress not at the same time allow the Benghazi families to sue Hillary Clinton for her failure to protect their loved ones and their living quarters in our embassy in Benghazi under her jurisdiction for the preventable deaths of their loved ones since the ratio of loss per person or family harmed would have been generally the same as that on 9/11.  

I think JASTA was a mistake that needs to be corrected now.  I understand other considerations have already been acknowledged affecting our security that should have been thought out before any actions were taken in the heat of the moment.  The pain of 9/11 will never go away. 

Charlotte Parton

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