WHY IS OBAMA PROTECTING THE SAUDIS HERE? Congress set for Saudi showdown with Obama.

The Senate will stay in session next week for a looming showdown with President Obama over legislation making it easier for the families of victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia.

Obama is expected to veto the legislation by Friday, the deadline for him to use his veto pen. The bill has overwhelming bipartisan support, suggesting the two-thirds majorities in both chambers necessary to override the president’s veto are there.

If Congress were to leave Washington for the campaign trail this week, as many had expected, the administration might have had a better shot at convincing Democrats to uphold an Obama veto in a lame-duck session after the elections.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday vowed the Senate would stay in the Capitol to deal with the issue, as well as a separate push to deny an arms sale to Saudi Arabia.

“Both of those we’ll have to deal with before we depart,” McConnell told reporters.

The leader offered a similar message in private, telling rank-and-file Republicans during their lunch that they will reconvene next week if Obama waits until the last minute to veto the popular bill.

Stay tuned.