Text: H.R.2985 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (11/14/2001)

 
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2985 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  1st Session
                                H. R. 2985


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           November 14, 2001

    Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, 
                      Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To amend the Federal Trade Commission Act to increase civil penalties 
  for violations involving certain proscribed acts or practices that 
exploit popular reaction to an emergency or major disaster declared by 
 the President, and to authorize the Federal Trade Commission to seek 
civil penalties for such violations in actions brought under section 13 
                              of that Act.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``American Spirit Fraud Prevention 
Act''.

SEC. 2. INCREASE IN PENALTIES FOR UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE ACTS OR PRACTICES 
              EXPLOITING REACTION TO CERTAIN EMERGENCIES AND MAJOR 
              DISASTERS.

    (a) Violations of Prohibition Against Unfair or Deceptive Acts or 
Practices.--Section 5(m)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 
U.S.C. 45(m)(1)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(D) In the case of a violation involving an unfair or deceptive 
act or practice in an emergency period or disaster period, the amount 
of the civil penalty under this paragraph shall be double the amount 
otherwise provided in this paragraph, if the act or practice exploits 
popular reaction to the national emergency, major disaster, or 
emergency that is the basis for such period.
    ``(E) In this paragraph--
            ``(i) the term `emergency period' means the period that--
                    ``(I) begins on the date the President declares a 
                national emergency under the National Emergencies Act 
                (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.); and
                    ``(II) ends on the expiration of the 1-year period 
                beginning on the date of the termination of the 
                national emergency; and
            ``(ii) the term `disaster period' means the 1-year period 
        beginning on the date the President declares an emergency or 
        major disaster under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and 
        Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.).''.
    (b) Violations of Other Laws Enforced by the Federal Trade 
Commission.--Section 13 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 
53) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(e)(1) If a person, partnership, or corporation is found, in an 
action under subsection (b), to have committed a violation involving an 
unfair or deceptive act or practice in an emergency period or a 
disaster period, and if the act or practice exploits popular reaction 
to the national emergency, major disaster, or emergency that is the 
basis for such period, the court, after awarding equitable relief (if 
any) under any other authority of the court, shall hold the person, 
partnership, or corporation liable for a civil penalty of not more than 
$22,000 for each such violation.
    ``(2) In this subsection--
            ``(A) the term `emergency period' means the period that--
                    ``(i) begins on the date the President declares a 
                national emergency under the National Emergencies Act 
                (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.); and
                    ``(ii) ends on the expiration of the 1-year period 
                beginning on the date of the termination of the 
                national emergency; and
            ``(B) the term `disaster period' means the 1-year period 
        beginning on the date the President declares an emergency or 
        major disaster under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and 
        Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.).''.

            Passed the House of Representatives November 13, 2001.

            Attest:

                                                 JEFF TRANDAHL,

                                                                 Clerk.