TERROR

Senate approves Sept. 11 legislation despite Saudi threats

  • FILE - In this March 16, 2016 file photo, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Senate passed legislation Tuesday, May 17, 2016, that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia despite a White House veto threat and fierce objections from the U.S. ally. The legislation, sponsored by Cornyn and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., gives victims' families the right to sue in U.S. court for any role that elements of the Saudi government may have played in the 2001 attacks that killed thousands in New York, the Washington, D.C. area and Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    FILE - In this March 16, 2016 file photo, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Senate passed legislation Tuesday, May 17, 2016, that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia despite a White House veto threat and fierce objections from the U.S. ally. The legislation, sponsored by Cornyn and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., gives victims' families the right to sue in U.S. court for any role that elements of the Saudi government may have played in the 2001 attacks that killed thousands in New York, the Washington, D.C. area and Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 16, 2016 file photo, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Senate passed legislation Tuesday, May 17, 2016, that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia despite a White House veto threat and fierce objections from the U.S. ally. The legislation, sponsored by Schumer and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, gives victims' families the right to sue in U.S. court for any role that elements of the Saudi government may have played in the 2001 attacks that killed thousands in New York, the Washington, D.C. area and Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    FILE - In this March 16, 2016 file photo, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Senate passed legislation Tuesday, May 17, 2016, that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia despite a White House veto threat and fierce objections from the U.S. ally. The legislation, sponsored by Schumer and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, gives victims' families the right to sue in U.S. court for any role that elements of the Saudi government may have played in the 2001 attacks that killed thousands in New York, the Washington, D.C. area and Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Senate has passed legislation that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia.

By voice vote Tuesday, senators approved the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act despite threats from Riyadh to pull billions of dollars from the U.S. economy if the bill is enacted.

The legislation gives victims' families the right to sue the government of Saudi Arabia in U.S. court for any role that elements of the Saudi government may have played in the attacks.

The Obama administration threatened to veto the legislation. It said the bill could expose Americans overseas to legal risks.

Many Senate Democrats backed the bill, putting them at odds with the White House.

Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Chuck Schumer of New York sponsored the legislation.