Congress Had No Time to Read the USA PATRIOT Act

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It is hard to determine how long the final version of the USA PATRIOT Act was available prior to its consideration. By all measures, it was not available to the public and was barely made available to members of Congress. As one of the primary examples of bills that were rushed through Congress, there was little chance that the PATRIOT Act wouldn’t be a major Read the Bill case study.

In the wake of the devastating terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the administration of President George W. Bush sought new legal tools to fight terrorism and ward off future attacks. The first move to introduce new tools and expand the federal government’s powers took the form of the USA PATRIOT Act, introduced in the House of Representatives on October 23, 2001.

Commonly known as the PATRIOT Act, the bill contained provisions aimed at expanding the federal government’s ability to gather intelligence, engage in domestic surveillance and secret searches and detain immigrants with little restraint. The provisions in the PATRIOT Act became immediately controversial, as civil liberties groups argued that these provisions gutted constitutional protections provided to citizens for generations.

The bill was brought to the floor of the House of Representatives on October 23, the same day it was introduced. Many Democrats expressed extreme displeasure over the hurried nature of the process. Rep. Bobby Scott said, “I think it is appropriate to comment on the process by which the bill is coming to us. This is not the bill that was reported and deliberated on in the Committee on the Judiciary. It came to us late on the floor. No one has really had an opportunity to look at the bill to see what is in it since we have been out of our offices.” Rep. John Conyers, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, declared, “we are now debating at this hour of night, with only two copies of the bill that we are being asked to vote on available to Members on this side of the aisle.” Conyers was later famously pictured in the Michael Moore documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” explaining that no lawmaker reads all the bills in Congress. The bill passed on October 24 by a vote of 357-66.

The Senate passed the bill the very next day and the president signed the bill on October 26, 2001.

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  • Ellis

    The Patriot Act? Are you kidding? How about profiling something more immediately relevent? Like the Stimulus Bill which NO ONE had time to read, not those who voted on it much less the public. Trying to fight old Bush wars while ignoring the obvious surrounding you is as blindly partisan as you can get. If you want to learn something from the Patriot Act as a case study then how about “let’s not wait a half-dozen years to analyze it.” Analyze what’s happening NOW! While there is still a chance to influence the course of things… Leave your partisanship at the door!

    Ellis

  • I think your final exclamatory remark should be directed to the mirror. In case you haven’t been reading our site, we’ve profiled the Stimulus bill, the Bailout, a bill amending the FDA, housing legislation bailing out Freddie and Fannie, the FISA Amendments Act, and now the USA PATRIOT Act. By reviewing these bills as case studies, we have shown that, over the years, Congress, no matter the party in charge, has pushed through important bills without providing the time for lawmakers or the public to read them. Perhaps you should read further before accusing people of having nefarious motives.

    I don’t see why it is so upsetting to you that we have selected an important bill like the PATRIOT Act, which was available for fewer hours than the stimulus package, as a case study. How is it partisan to point out that the bill was pushed through in less than 24 hours?

  • Jon

    It should never happen. It doesn’t matter if it is the democrats or republicans. No bill should ever be rushed through. Every congressman/senator should be given a reasonable time frame to read the bill. And – as representatives, the people should expect that they read every line. Anything short of that is gross negligence on the part of our elected officials.

    What is hypocritical about Obama is that his entire election campaign was based on giving the people the information first. He was saying that we would have the bills to read for 5 days on his website. He has broken another campaign promise and has let down the American people. They announced today that the health care bill will not be published for the American people to read. This is disgraceful.

  • Joel Munson

    that was one of the first trolls

  • girdyerloins

    I agree. But let’s not forget that Obama is merely another marionette, just as Bush was and every president after LIncoln, who famously commented how corporations would rule the land, after the civil war.
    These people aren’t hired by you or me or any other lowly lumpenprole in America.
    Let us remember always that this economic/political system had been set up by the latifundia and fine-tuned ever since to serve their desires for wealth and power with only the occasional bone tossed to the population at large.
    To regard this clown show as anything remotely akin to the ideal system it purports to be is to set oneself up for constant, consistent disappointment and despair.
    Consider, rather, that this is all mete and proper for a species of strutting little egomaniacs, intent on their own self-preservation at whatever cost to anything and anyone (including their peers and, even, family) around them and that to see this entire hoedown as anything but insanity is, itself, insane.
    It is a spectacle. Enjoy it as such and let go of any notions you may influence its overall outcome.

  • Gwenyth Larsen

    In 2001/2002 I worked at la brasserie in DC behind the Capitol building. I waited on the league of lady senators including Hillary Clinton. I asked her how it passed. She said it was pushed as very patriotic and not signing it was unpatriotic. She pretty much said not signing it was pushed as being against America.

  • Charlie Red

    They also didn’t read the ACA.

  • Master Flash

    At that time I remember the description of the bill was a way for different security organizations of the U.S, to openly communicate and coordinate between them.

  • desertspeaks

    It is apparently the opinion of Paul Blumenthal that the CONstitution and laws automatically apply to everyone.. CAN HE PROVE IT??

    IF you ask government employees if their CONstitution and laws automatically apply to everyone, their collective opinion is that YES, their CONstitution and laws apply to everyone, automatically. BUT if you ask them what facts they rely on that PROVE their BELIEF that it is applicable to you, they have no plausible answer, they’ll hang up on you, feign as though they don’t understand the question, tell you that they aren’t going to debate with you “EVEN THOUGH ALL YOU DID WAS ASK FOR FACTUAL PROOF OF THEIR ASSERTION OF JURISDICTION” They’ll even tell you to prove it doesn’t apply to you, this is an attempt to avoid answering your question!!, but they’ll continue to refuse to answer as to what facts they rely on to prove any of it applies to you,.. remember, they already told you it applies, it is their responsibility to prove it applies because they are the ones attempting to bring a charge against you, so the onus to prove it applies is theirs,.. It is not up to you to disprove anything applies!!!

    Everyone has been told that the CONstitution and law automatically apply to everyone. it’s everyones opinion that it applies, everyone feels it applies, everyone believes it applies, everyone assumes and presumes it applies. HOWEVER; hearsay, opinions, feelings, beliefs, assumptions and presumptions aren’t proof of a damn thing.

    What factual, first hand, irrefutable evidence can anyone offer that proves that their CONstitution and laws apply to the private person simply because they are physically in what we commonly refer to geographically as a state.

    Keeping in mind that slavery and involuntary servitude is illegal, per the governments own laws. Further, no private person is a party to their CONstitution nor is any private person a signatory to their CONstitution nor has any private person sworn an oath to be bound by or to obey their CONstitution and laws.

    Do you grasp the gravity of NOT being a party to some agreement, contract, compact or constitution??
    When one is NOT a party to some agreement, contract, compact or CONstitution, then one is NOT BOUND TO OBEY IT OR ANY PROMULGATIONS ARISING FROM SAID INSTRUMENT! “those promulgations would be codes, policies, statutes and laws etc”

    Who precisely is a party to their CONstitution?? The States, counties and cities are parties to the CONstitution. NOT YOU, THE LIVING BREATHING FLESH AND BLOOD MAN/WOMAN!!

    Should anyone choose to accept the challenge to show your proof/evidence that their CONstitution and laws apply to the private person. You shall adhere to the following;

    Your proof/evidence MUST be factual and personal first hand information, your proof/evidence shall not be comprised of hearsay, your opinions, someone else’s opinions, your beliefs, someone else’s beliefs, your feelings, someone else’s feelings, assumptions, presumptions, hypotheticals, conjecture, sophistry, fraud, lies, scenarios or what if’s.

    U.S. Supreme court; The Clara, 102 U.S. 200 (1880)
    the maxim applies quod non apparet non est. The fact not appearing is presumed not to exist.

    Good luck!

  • MadMagyar

    I like the information Karl Lentz provides on his YouTube videos, regarding the private man vs public (i.e. “person” or corporate creature of the state) individual. Look up the LEGAL definitions of “person” and “corporation”. Also “public” (which means government). Also listen to Vyzygoth’s interviews with The Informer and James Montgomery. This is critical information people need to know when dealing with the corporate municipalities called government and their “officers”. The federal laws apply ONLY to government employees, not private men and women. If you call yourself a “person”, then you are bound by the corporate statutes. If you call yourself (and act as) a man or woman, then your only law is that of Nature. The words “man” and “woman” are not defined in statute law (at least not in the one where I live).

  • 14th Amendment. Read it. Thanks much.