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Calendar No. 539
1st Session SENATE Report
DO-NOT-CALL IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2007
R E P O R T
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
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
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
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
[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
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.
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
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
November 26, 2007.
Hon. Daniel K. Inouye, Chairman,
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate,
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.
Peter R. Orszag.
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
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
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.
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
It is expected that the legislation would not increase the
paperwork requirements beyond what is currently required to
comply with the DNC Registry.
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
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
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.