Patriot Act

By Amanda Loffredo

Step One: Recognizing the Problem

The USA Patriot Act and the extensions to it was created due to the ongoing acts of terrorism. One event in particular brought up the concerns of the U.S. citizen’s national security. The event known as 9/11 caused this problem to be recognized. In 2001 the World Trade Center and Pentagon was attacked by terrorist and led by a man named Osama bin Laden. Terrorist were not one of Americas biggest concerns until 9/11 happened. This was the main reason the USA Patriot Act was necessary to create.

"Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children." -President George W. Bush

Step Two: Formulating the Policy

Many loved ones died from the event of 9/11. This created chaos among the people about not feeling safe and enough attention was put on this to create the Patriot Act. This policy covers a number of areas against terrorism. First it creates a better domestic security system by enhancing surveillance procedures. The Patriot Act helps to ensure the borders are better protected. It provides for any victim of terrorism and their families. Also it strengthened criminal laws against terrorism.

Jim Sensenbenner

The man above is Representative Sensenbenner is a Wisconsin Republican. He is the main author who created the Patriot Act. He is the one who introduced it to the House of Representatives in 2001.

Step Three: Adopting the Policy

In order for this extension on the Patriot Act to be enforced it must pass through congress and the president must sign it. The House of Representatives and the Senate both help to create the legislation and for the Patriot Act. This policy deals with problems within the borders of the U.S. meaning it is considered a domestic policy. It would be considered a social and regulatory policy. Social because it deals with national defense, and regulatory because it states how far the government can go to protect us all from terror. The majority of congress approved it. The Patriot Act was sent to the president in Washington D.C. At the time that was, President George W. Bush, who signed it into law on October 26th in 2001.

Step Four: Implementing the Policy

Right when the Patriot Act was passed they knew that it would create a safer country and there would be more surveillance. The FBI was now allowed to use techniques that would help in the war on terror. They now used wiretapping which is when they monitor conversations that happen over the phone. Also the streamlined procedures to make it easier to get a search warrant. Business records were searched by federal agents only with the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). The Secretary of the Treasury received the power to fight against money laundering and responsibility to stop terrorist finances.

Big image

Unlike most of the law every four years certain parts (example: roving tapes and business records) must be reapproved by the president. The bill was signed by President Bush at first but when the four year deadline came Obama was the current president. the type of pen he used was amazing, it is an auto pen. The is a machine that holds a pen the signs his actual signature, however it is only used with his approval. It was only minutes before the deadline that the four year extension was approved. The senate and house of representatives also have to approve it. It was a 72-23 vote in the senate and a 250-153 in the house.

Step Five: Evaluating the Policy

The law was in effect for four years before it was time for Obama’s approval. When the subject came up people had different viewpoints on whether or not it should be signed again.

Patriot Act-Failure

A Republican freshman named Rand Paul felt it should not be approved looking back on the previous four years. He evaluated them and concluded that in 2001 Americans were in panic to create security so they made this law, but some parts of the Patriot Act infringes on the citizen’s individual liberties. Liberal Democrats and civil liberty groups felt it gave the government the right to spy on innocent citizens. Also another view on the Patriot Act is that there are no rules for when they look into banking records or business records. This would mean the Patriot Act is creating a lawless land which is not what America stands for.

Patriot Act- Success

On the other hand Obama and his supporters viewed the Patriot Act as a necessary thing. They argue that if it was not resigned then that would allow terrorist to escape surveillance and the FBI would have a much harder time trying to find information about any terrorist plotting. For example Osama bin Laden was killed because the FBI had the tools to find him. After that the people saw how good the extra surveillance can be, and the percent of people who opposed the Partiot Act declined. A main reason to support the law is because it opens up various tools that the FBI was not allowed access to beforehand.


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"Obama Signs Last-Minute Patriot Act Extension." Fox News. Fox News Network, 27 May 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2014. <>.

"The Patriot Act." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. History: Government and Politics. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Student Resources in Context. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.

"George W. Bush signs USA Patriot Act." Photos/Illustrations. UPI. American Government. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

Brown, Maressa. "10 Poignant Quotes about 9/11." The Stir. CMI Marketing, 9 Sept. 2011. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <>.

Dinan, Stephen. "Patriot Act Author Introduces Bill to Halt NSA Snooping." The Washington Times. Washington Times, 29 Oct. 2013. Web. 28 Nov. 2014. <>.