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Congressional AmbivalenceThe Political Burdens of Constitutional Authority$
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Jasmine Farrier

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813192628

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813192628.001.0001

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Dramatic Circumstances, Dramatic Ambivalence

Dramatic Circumstances, Dramatic Ambivalence

Congress Post-9/11

(p.115) 4 Dramatic Circumstances, Dramatic Ambivalence
Congressional Ambivalence

Jasmine Farrier

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter examines the seemingly unique post-9/11 political landscape, which also showcases the cycle of ambivalence in a very different and more condensed context. In the early months and years after the attacks, especially seen in the USA Patriot Act and the Iraq War resolution, Congress delegated extraordinary powers not only through the bills' text but also through the unorthodox speed and limited deliberations preceding their passage. Congressional rhetoric in the year after 9/11 echoed the Bush administration's argument that only it saw the nation's interest, while members who advocated the House and the Senate's traditional prerogative to review the administration's requests were branded as obstructionists or worse. Congress had its chances to question the nation's intelligence problems related to 9/11, the Iraq war, and the administration's management of the War on Terror in general during congressional reviews and confirmation hearings, but these did not result in extraordinary changes in policy or major cuts in Bush's spending requests.

Keywords:   Congress, ambivalence, 9/11, USA Patriot Act, Iraq War resolution, War on Terror, national interest, policy, congressional reviews

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