The Establishment of the Department of Homeland Security as Established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 An Analysis and Report Zachary Stackhouse Political Science 101: Introduction October 24, 2011 Introduction On September 11th, 2001, The United States of America and the rest of the world stared and watched as the first and then second tower of the World Trade Center in New York came under attack by terrorists. At 8:46 am, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower.
At 9:03 am, the South Tower was struck by another airliner. These were the first two of four terrorist attacks to occur on the fateful September day. At 9:37 am, the third plane would fly into the Pentagon. At 10:03 am, the final terrorist attack was thwarted as passenger of United Airlines Flight 93 took back control of their plane and crashed the plane into a field in Pennsylvania. This was the last of the terrorist attacks but nowhere near the end of the horror.
To stem the tide of future terrorist attacks on American at home and abroad, President George Bush took immediate steps to ensuring that our country would be secure once again. These steps would mark the start of the global war on terror and would be the foundation for what would later become known as the Department of Homeland Security. As political scientists, we are asked to evaluate a decision made by politicians.
This analysis may establish that state-centered theory provides a strong explanation of the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Act of 2002. In this analysis, it will be shown how this policy stemmed from the issues of the Global War on Terror and will follow its passage from President Bush’s original ideas to the final legislation that was signed into law on November 25, 2002.
After the reader is given a background introduction into the topic the of Department of Homeland Security, the reader will then be given a basic lesson on state-centered theory and the hypotheses of state-centered theory that will be tested by this legislation and policy. Background Following the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, President Bush moved quickly to establish the Office of Homeland Security and on October 8, 2001, it was done by executive order.
The mission of this office to be run by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge as President Bush stated in a speech before Congress nine days after the attacks, “He will lead, oversee, and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to safeguard our country against terrorism, and respond to any attacks that may come”. This new office would serve to coordinate the activity between all government agencies that had functions relating to the defense of the continental United States. On October 12, 2001, the legislative options to strengthen homeland security went before a hearing in front of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.
There, many defense and political experts such as Senator Robert Bennet (R-Utah), Representative Jane Harman (D-California), former Representative Lee Hamilton (D-Indiana), General (Retired) Barry McCaffrey, and General (Retired) Charles Boyd began to advocate for a the establishment of a Department of Homeland Security with a cabinet position as opposed to and assistant to the President. This changed the ideology of legislation regarding this policy Strength started building up for the founding of a new Department of Homeland Security. President Bush got behind it as well.
As Maxwell writes, “Bush initially opposed the move, contending it was unnecessary. As legislation to create the new department picked up momentum, Bush reversed his position…” The legislation had so much backing behind it that 118 members of the House of Representatives got behind the bill as cosponsors in addition to the sponsorship of Representative Richard Armey. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 which established the Department of Homeland Security passed with overwhelming numbers. In the Senate, it passed with a vote of 90-9. In the House, it passed with a vote of 295-132.
Backing on the bill came primarily from the Republicans despite strong support within the Democratic Party. Of the votes against, between both houses of Congress, only 7 votes were from Republicans. On November 25, 2002, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 was signed into law by President Bush and established the Department of Homeland Security. Theory Summary State-centered theory emphasizes how the government functions in terms of civil society. State-centered theory holds that the government will make political society to an extent no matter of the way power is distributed among different groups in society such as classes or other groups.
This paper will attempt to show that state-centered theory was behind the passing of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security based upon three hypotheses stemming from state-centered theory. The first is this: if President Bush has an interest in the issue of establishing a Department of Homeland Security, then he will use his influence to affect the policy regarding the establishment of such a Department. Secondly, the hypotheses continue: If President Bush has a personal agenda, then he will use his influence too affect the establishment of a Department of Homeland Security.
The third and final hypothesis is this: If many members of Congress and/ or President Bush compete to affect the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, then the Act and establishment will reflect the agenda of the most influential actor. If these hypotheses, which establish the basis of state-centered theory, are proven, then state-centered theory will have been shown as behind the passing of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security. Theory Application
In the theory application portion of the analysis, evidence will be discussed to support notion that state-centered theory was the philosophy behind the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security. The paper will provide evidence for the hypotheses in the order that they were presented in the theory summary portion. To restate the first hypothesis: if President Bush has an interest in the issue of establishing a Department of Homeland Security, then he will use his influence to affect the policy regarding the establishment of such a Department.
Following the attacks on September 11, 2011, President Bush quickly took charge in what would quickly become the War on Terror. BY the middle of October 2011, President Bush had established the Office of Homeland Security, a purely advisory portion of the cabinet, by executive order. The legislation was then put to Congress that would permanently establish the Office of Homeland Security as a part of the White House cabinet. As the Senate and House went through passing the legislation, it was clear that Congress wanted a stronger, more valuable department to be established that would have budget oversight.
Bush got behind this as it began to pick up force. With the backing of President Bush, the Homeland Act flew through Congress and was passed in a little under a year. From this evidence, we see that President Bush indeed had an interest in the establishment of such a department. His influence was essential to the passing of the legislation. This proves the first of the three hypotheses. The second hypothesis is this: if President Bush has a personal agenda, then he will use his influence to affect the establishment of a Department of Homeland Security.
At the time of the legislation going through Congress, President Bush already had his eyes set on the next election. He knew that if he could establish himself as a strong leader who was tough on terrorism, the public would vote him back into office. President Bush obviously had a personal agenda right from the start and he was going to use this legislation to make sure he served the second term that his father never had. He tried and succeeded to establish the Department of Homeland Security because he knew it would make him look tough on terrorism.
His influence due to his personal agenda helped pass the Homeland Security Act of 2002. This proves the second of the three hypotheses. The third hypothesis remains: If members of Congress or President Bush compete to affect the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, then the Act and establishment will reflect the agenda of the most influential actor. The most influential actor or groups of actors pertaining to this hypothesis are members of Congress. During the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs hearing on legislative options to strengthen homeland security, ——————————————- [ 1 ]. 1. US, Department of Homeland Security, 2 [ 2 ]. 2. Ibid. , 3 [ 3 ]. 3. Maxwell, Homeland Security, 258 [ 4 ]. 4. Maxwell, Homeland Security, 269-270 [ 5 ]. 5. Maxwell, Homeland Security, 479 [ 6 ]. 6. Library of Congress, Bill Summary and Status [ 7 ]. 7. US Senate, Legislation and Records [ 8 ]. 8. Ferrer, Congressional Vote Tally [ 9 ]. 9. Kam, Terror and Ethnocentrism, 8 [ 10 ]. 10. Maxwell, Homeland Security, 259 [ 11 ]. 11. Maxwell, Department of Homeland Security, 264 [ 12 ]. 12. Kam, Terror and Ethnocentrism, 11