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                                                       Calendar No. 539
110th Congress 
 1st Session                     SENATE                          Report
                                                                110-246
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     


 
                  DO-NOT-CALL IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2007

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 2096



                                     

               December 12, 2007.--Ordered to be printed

                 U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
69-010                    WASHINGTON : 2007



       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                       one hundred tenth congress
                             first session

                   DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii, Chairman
                   TED STEVENS, Alaska, Vice-Chairman
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West         JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
    Virginia                         TRENT LOTT, Mississippi
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts         KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota        OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine
BARBARA BOXER, California            GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon
BILL NELSON, Florida                 JOHN ENSIGN, Nevada
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington           JOHN E. SUNUNU, New Hampshire
FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, New Jersey      JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
MARK PRYOR, Arkansas                 DAVID VITTER, Louisiana
THOMAS CARPER, Delaware              JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
          Margaret Cummisky, Staff Director and Chief Counsel
         Lila Helms, Deputy Staff Director and Policy Director
       Jean Toal Eisen, Senior Advisor and Deputy Policy Director
     Christine Kurth, Republican Staff Director and General Counsel
                Paul J. Nagle, Republican Chief Counsel
             Mimi Braniff, Republican Deputy Chief Counsel


                                                       Calendar No. 539
110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                    110-246

======================================================================




                  DO-NOT-CALL IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

               December 12, 2007.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

       Mr. Inouye, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                                 REPORT

                         [To accompany S. 2096]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 2096) to amend the Do-Not-Call 
Implementation Act to eliminate the automatic removal of 
telephone numbers registered on the Federal ``do-not-call'' 
registry, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and 
recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

  S. 2096, as amended, would prevent the Federal Trade 
Commission (FTC) from removing telephone numbers for the Do-
Not-Call (DNC) Registry that have been on the DNC Registry for 
5 years, an action that would have forced consumers who placed 
those numbers on the DNC Registry to re-register. Under the 
Telemarketing Sales Rule adopted by the FTC, telephone number 
registrations remain valid for 5 years. Consequently, unless 
altered by legislation, the DNC telephone numbers registered in 
the summer of 2003 will begin to expire during the summer of 
2008. In anticipation of the first expirations, FTC staff has 
indicated that they intend to manage an education campaign 
dedicated to disseminating re-registration information to 
consumers, during the spring of 2008.
  In order to avoid confusion, and to protect consumers from 
receiving unwanted telemarketing calls upon the expiration of 
their registrations, S. 2096 would forestall the FTC from 
automatically expiring numbers and removing them from the 
registry.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEEDS

  On March 11, 2003, President George W. Bush signed the Do-
Not-Call Implementation Act (DNC Act) into law. The DNC Act 
makes it illegal for telemarketers to call consumers with whom 
they do not have a prior business relationship. It also limits 
the times of day when telemarketers can call, the use of auto-
dialing technology, and the area codes accessible to 
telemarketers. The enforcement provisions of the DNC Act 
include severe fines for calling numbers on the DNC Registry, 
and the Act requires telemarketers to keep their own in-house 
call lists up-to-date with the DNC Registry.
  The FTC opened the DNC Registry on June 27, 2003, and 
telemarketers were required to comply by October 1, 2003. 
Nearly 5,000 telemarketers purchased all or parts of the list 
and removed the phone numbers on the DNC Registry.
  A telemarketer who ignores the DNC list is subject to an 
$11,000 fine for each call to a phone number on the DNC 
Registry. The fine is levied by the FTC; no private right of 
action is available to individual consumers or State attorneys 
general. The law requires telemarketers to search the registry 
and synchronize their call lists on a regular basis. The 
registry has logged more than 144 million telephone numbers 
since its inception.
  In its Annual Report to Congress for FY 2006, the FTC stated 
that the DNC Registry was effectively serving its fundamental 
purpose by maintaining high registration volumes and reducing 
unwanted phone calls from telemarketers. The FTC also concluded 
that the registry was successfully recording consumer 
complaints and consumer preferences to avoid telemarketing 
phone calls, permitting businesses to access the registry, and 
sharing information and tools with State and Federal law 
enforcement personnel so that they could conduct investigations 
into complaints and take appropriate action. In short, the FTC 
affirmed in its report to Congress that the DNC Registry 
constitutes an effective consumer protection program.
  The Report underscored other issues reflecting the program's 
efficacy. Concerning agency harmonization, in 2006, the FTC 
coordinated closely with the Federal Communications Commission 
(FCC) to share enforcement priorities and avoid duplicative 
action. Regarding consolidation and efficiency, the FTC worked 
with States to advance its objective of forming a single 
registry to provide businesses and consumers with a single 
point of contact. Finally, concerning enforcement, while 
compliance with the DNC Registry was high, the FTC continued to 
prosecute violators of the DNC Act and worked closely with the 
Department of Justice, the FCC, and the individual States. 
Under the Telemarketing Sales Rule adopted by the FTC, 
telephone number registrations remain valid for 5 years. The 
DNC telephone numbers registered in the summer of 2003 will 
begin to expire during the summer of 2008. Without 
Congressional authorization, the telephone numbers that were 
placed on the Registry and have not been re-registered within 
the 5-year period will be deleted.

                         SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS

  S. 2096 would mandate that a telephone number on the DNC 
Registry would not expire at the end of any specified period. 
The bill would reinstate any number removed from the DNC 
Registry before the date of enactment due to the 5-year 
expiration policy set forth in the Telemarketing Sales Rule. 
The FTC would be required to check telephone numbers against 
national databases, and remove numbers that have been both 
disconnected and reassigned. The Committee encourages the FTC 
to develop new methods to ensure the accuracy of the Registry.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

  On September 26, 2007, Senator Dorgan introduced S. 2096, 
which was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation (Committee). Several members of the Committee 
cosponsored the measure, including Vice Chairman Stevens and 
Senators Kerry, Nelson, Snowe, and Ensign. On April 10, 2007, 
all five FTC Commissioners testified before the Committee on 
several issues as part of general oversight of the FTC, and 
included testimony on the DNC Registry. On July 31, 2007, the 
Committee held a hearing on telemarketing practices and 
received testimony on the number expiration issue.
  On October 30, 2007, the Committee met in open executive 
session to consider an amendment in the nature of a substitute 
offered by Senator Dorgan that made several substantive changes 
to the bill as introduced. The Committee adopted the Dorgan 
substitute amendment to the bill by voice vote and ordered the 
bill reported favorably with the amendment in the nature of a 
substitute.

                            ESTIMATED COSTS

  In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:
                                                 November 26, 2007.
Hon. Daniel K. Inouye, Chairman,
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate, 
        Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2096, the Do-Not-
Call Improvement Act of 2007.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Susan Willie.
            Sincerely,
                                                   Peter R. Orszag.
    Enclosure.

S. 2096--Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007

    S. 2096 would prohibit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 
from removing phone numbers from its ``do-not-call'' registry 
at the end of specific time periods. The ``do-not-call'' 
registry contains a list of consumers whom telemarketers are 
prohibited from calling. When the registry was created in 2003, 
the FTC developed rules that required consumers to register 
their phone numbers every five years and required the FTC to 
remove disconnected phone numbers periodically.
    S. 2096 would prohibit the FTC from removing numbers from 
the registry at the end of this five-year period or any other 
specified period. The bill also would authorize the FTC to 
continue to purge the registry of disconnected and reassigned 
phone numbers. Based on information from FTC, CBO estimates 
that implementing the bill would have no significant impact on 
the federal budget because the commission is already complying 
with the bill's provisions.
    S. 2096 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Susan Willie. 
This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT

  In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       NUMBER OF PERSONS COVERED

  The legislation would apply to all American consumers who 
have placed or choose to place their telephone numbers on the 
DNC Registry.

                            ECONOMIC IMPACT

  S. 2096 is not expected to change the economic impact of the 
DNC Registry on the telemarketing industry, in that the FTC 
would still be obligated to remove disconnected and reassigned 
telephone numbers from the DNC Registry.

                                PRIVACY

  S. 2096 would increase the privacy of consumers by assuring 
the continuation of the protections of DNC Registry to the 
consumers that elected to place their numbers onto the 
Registry.

                               PAPERWORK

  It is expected that the legislation would not increase the 
paperwork requirements beyond what is currently required to 
comply with the DNC Registry.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title.

  This section would provide that the Act may be cited as the 
``Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007.''

Section 2. Prohibition of expiration date for registered telephone 
        numbers.

  This section would mandate that the registration of a 
telephone number on the DNC Registry of the Telemarketing Sales 
Rule may not expire at the end of any specified time period.
  Reinstatement.--The bill would reinstate any number removed 
from the DNC Registry before the date of enactment due to the 
5-year expiration policy set forth in the Telemarketing Sales 
Rule.
  Registry Maintenance.--The FTC would be authorized to check 
telephone numbers against national databases, and remove 
numbers that have been both disconnected and reassigned.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

  In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the bill as 
reported would make no change to existing law.