Patriot Act Essay

1930 words - 8 pages

A public policy is a course of action undertaken by a government to deal with a particular problem in society. The usually result from political struggles at the federal, state, and local government levels. Each Public policy has five phases that they all have to go through. The first phase is problem identification, where the agenda is set for our government. The second phase is the policy formulation stage, where policy alternatives are discussed, debated, agreed on and then disagreed on. The third phase is policy adoption, where a policy alternative officially becomes a public policy due to our government adopting it. The next phase is the policy implementation phase, which is where the ...view middle of the document...

It also is supposed to increase the number of tools our government and law enforcement have available to them to properly investigate terrorist leads they may get.
Immediately after this bill passed, much criticism followed. There were two opposing views; some Americans felt that the USA Patriot Act did not go far enough in terms of fighting terrorism. The other view was from Civil Rights Activists, who said that this bill would give our Executive branch way too much power to investigate and pursue any leads, which in infringes upon our right to privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union has fought this bill since it was proposed. Some people, who originally agreed with the bill and supported it, have changed their mind due to the fact that they no longer trust Bush and his associates (George W. Bush Signs the Patriot Act). The USA Patriot Act has always been an interesting and controversial act to me so I chose it to research more about and to write about.
Terrorist Acts have been around since the beginning of time and governments across the world have also been trying to stop these acts before they occur. Two huge attacks on our Nation almost forced the Government to step in and do something. In 1993, the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center occurred and then the Oklahoma City Bombings in 1995. Then in 1996, Bill Clinton signed the Antiterrorism Act which ultimately served as the basis for the USA Patriot Act (USA PATRIOT Act). The final catalyst to the proposition of the Patriot Act was the anthrax attacks and the second set of attacks on the World Trade Center on a day that will live forever, September 11, 2001 (The USA PATRIOT Act). It was signed on October 26, 2001 just weeks after the terrorist attacks (Chapter 5). The House voted 356 to 66 to pass the bill with the Democrats being the majority of the votes disagreeing (Final Vote Results for Roll Call 398).
Immediately after 9/11, numerous bills were brought forth to Congress requesting changes to the previous antiterrorism laws. Amongst the many bills proposed, only one was considered and used in the drafting of the Patriot Act. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania drafted the Anti-Terrorism Act which became the primal basis on which the Patriot Act was written from (The Patriot Act: Looking Back to 2001). As a whole, both Congress and the House discussed very little, on any alternatives to the Patriot Act as this bill was passed extremely quickly (Grabianowski). Some reports have shown that the time it took between the bill being presented with its final edits and the passing of the bill in both the House and Congress was only about two days or forty eight hours (Grabianowski). The only Senator to oppose this act was Senator Russ Feingold who questioned the Legislation in great length but was dismissed as the bill was then passed (Congressional Record - Senate). Grabianowski stated in his article...

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