NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08:  The American flag that was raised by firefighters above the site of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on 2001 is displayed for the first time at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum after turning up in Washington state two years ago on September 8, 2016 in New York City. The flag was made iconic in a photo of firefighters raising it on the day of the attacks. The flag disappeared from Ground Zero during the site cleanup and was mysteriously turned into a police department by a man who gave his name only as "Brian". Sunday is the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: The American flag that was raised by firefighters above the site of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on 2001 is displayed for the first time at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum after turning up in Washington state two years ago on September 8, 2016 in New York City. The flag was made iconic in a photo of firefighters raising it on the day of the attacks. The flag disappeared from Ground Zero during the site cleanup and was mysteriously turned into a police department by a man who gave his name only as "Brian". Sunday is the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:45
House votes to allow 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia
soundtracks 9/11 clip 2_00002930.jpg
soundtracks 9/11 clip 2_00002930.jpg
Now playing
01:07
How music helped us heal after 9/11
soundtracks 9/11 clip 1_00005729.jpg
soundtracks 9/11 clip 1_00005729.jpg
Now playing
01:21
Billy Joel on his 'love song' to NYC
Hillary Clinton leaves 9/11 event early RS _00005305.jpg
Zdenek Gazda
Hillary Clinton leaves 9/11 event early RS _00005305.jpg
Now playing
01:23
Video shows Hillary Clinton leaving 9/11 event early
hillary clinton chris cuomo sotu intv 1_00012320.jpg
hillary clinton chris cuomo sotu intv 1_00012320.jpg
Now playing
03:33
Hillary Clinton: 9/11 became personal for me
clinton 9/11
Reuters
clinton 9/11
Now playing
01:40
9/11 audio tapes reveal livid Hillary Clinton
some september 11 victims families want to sue saudi arabia jake tapper lead dnt_00003014.jpg
some september 11 victims families want to sue saudi arabia jake tapper lead dnt_00003014.jpg
Now playing
03:55
9/11 widow: Saudi Arabia should be held accountable
Ridge on 9/11 lawsuits, Candidates' Foreign Policy_00000000.jpg
Ridge on 9/11 lawsuits, Candidates' Foreign Policy_00000000.jpg
Now playing
06:56
Ridge on 9/11 lawsuits, candidates' foreign policy
9/11 Widow on Saudi role in attacks_00010714.jpg
CNN
9/11 Widow on Saudi role in attacks_00010714.jpg
Now playing
03:22
9/11 widow on Saudi role in attacks
senate approves 9/11 bill sue saudi arabia tapper kosinski lead_00000628.jpg
Senate TV
senate approves 9/11 bill sue saudi arabia tapper kosinski lead_00000628.jpg
Now playing
01:25
Senate approves 9/11 bill
rudy giuliani no successful radical islamic terror attacks 8 years before obama sot_00000000.jpg
rudy giuliani no successful radical islamic terror attacks 8 years before obama sot_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:04
Is Rudy Giuliani wrong about Obama and terror attacks?
Roses placed by the mother of an architect who died during the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks are erected off his name on the edge of the South Pool at the World Trade Center on September 25, 2015 in New York City.
Pool/Getty Images
Roses placed by the mother of an architect who died during the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks are erected off his name on the edge of the South Pool at the World Trade Center on September 25, 2015 in New York City.
Now playing
02:06
Congress releases '28 pages' on alleged Saudi 9/11 ties
9/11 saudi role lead sciutto dnt_00001108.jpg
WABC
9/11 saudi role lead sciutto dnt_00001108.jpg
Now playing
00:56
Classified 9/11 documents detail link to Saudi Arabia
9/11 saudi role lead sciutto dnt_00001108.jpg
WABC
9/11 saudi role lead sciutto dnt_00001108.jpg
Now playing
02:40
Former 9/11 commissioner: Saudis helped al Qaeda

Story highlights

House bill would let victims of the 9/11 attacks sue the Saudi government

The White House has said it will veto the bill over concerns about diplomatic relations

Washington CNN —  

Defying a veto threat from the Obama administration, the House of Representatives Friday passed by voice vote a bill that would allow terror victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001 to sue Saudi Arabia.

The Senate passed the measure by voice vote in May, but the administration has argued it would complicate diplomatic relations with a key ally in the region and warned against moving it forward.

The vote to send the bill to the President comes two days before the 15th anniversary of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.

House Speaker Paul Ryan was pressed about the pushback from some in the diplomatic and legal community about the precedent it would set, but said, “this bill passed overwhelmingly in the US Senate so I think that those concerns have been taken under consideration and members are acting accordingly and that’s why this bill will pass.”

The White House had no comment on the House’s action Friday.

After the Senate bill passed in May, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said “it’s difficult to imagine the President signing this legislation.”

“I know that the advocates of this legislation have suggested that they have taken into account our concerns by more narrowly tailoring the legislation,” Earnest said. “But, unfortunately, their efforts were not sufficient to prevent the longer-term, unintended consequences that we are concerned about. This legislation would change longstanding international law regarding sovereign immunity. And the President of the United States continues to harbor serious concerns that this legislation would make the United States vulnerable in other court systems around the world.”

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, refuted that the bill interfered with the sovereign immunity of other countries, and said international acts of terrorism deserve to be exceptions in terms of legal liability.

“We can no longer allow those who injure and kill Americans to hide behind legal loopholes, denying justice to the victims of terrorism,” Goodlatte said.

“There are always diplomatic considerations that get in the way of justice, but if a court proves the Saudis were complicit in 9/11, they should be held accountable,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, a sponsor of the Senate bill. “If they’ve done nothing wrong, they have nothing to worry about.”

Saudi Arabia has denied any role in the attacks and has never been formally implicated, but 15 of the 19 hijackers that carried them out were of Saudi descent. The Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, has warned lawmakers that if the bill became law, the country would sell $750 billion in US assets, including treasury securities.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a co-sponsor of the Senate bill, said in a statement that “today’s vote sends an unmistakable message that we should combat terrorism with every tool we have, and that the families of those lost in attacks like that on September 11th should have every means at their disposal to seek justice.”

Pointing to the concerns raised by the White House, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, the top Democrat on the Judiciary panel, said Friday, “I remain hopeful that we can continue to work with the Administration so we can resolve these issues so the legislation can be signed into law by the president.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi previously acknowledged that after the Senate easily passed the bill the administration reached out to try to make some changes but said it was “a little late.”

Recently unclassified documents detail contact and support between some of the hijackers and individuals who may have been connected to the Saudi government. The “28 pages” that were long secret also note suspicions about ties between the Saudi royal family and al Qaeda, though the documents also say the speculations have not been verified.

CNN’s Ted Barrett and Suzanne Malveaux contributed to this report.