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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    110-486

======================================================================
 
                  DO-NOT-CALL IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

 December 11, 2007.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Dingell, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3541]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 3541) 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, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     4
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................     4
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     5
Additional Materials.............................................     7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     9

                               Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

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

SEC. 2. PROHIBITION OF EXPIRATION DATE FOR REGISTERED NUMBERS.

  The Do-Not-Call Implementation Act (15 U.S.C. 6101 note) is amended 
by adding at the end the following:

``SEC. 5. PROHIBITION OF EXPIRATION DATE.

  ``(a) No Automatic Removal of Numbers.--Telephone numbers registered 
on the national `do-not-call' registry of the Telemarketing Sales Rule 
(16 C.F.R. 310.4(b)(1)(iii)) since the establishment of the registry 
and telephone numbers registered on such registry after the date of 
enactment of this Act, shall not be removed from such registry except 
as provided for in subsection (b) or upon the request of the individual 
to whom the telephone number is assigned.
  ``(b) Removal of Invalid, Disconnected, and Reassigned Telephone 
Numbers.--The Federal Trade Commission shall check telephone numbers 
registered on the national `do-not-call' registry against national or 
other appropriate databases twice each month and shall remove from such 
registry those telephone numbers that have been disconnected and 
reassigned.   Nothing in this section prohibits the Federal Trade 
Commission from removing invalid telephone numbers from the registry at 
any time.''.

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 3541, the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act 
of 2007, is to prohibit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from 
removing telephone numbers from the National Do-Not-Call 
Registry (Registry) at the end of specific time periods. When 
the Registry was created in 2003, the FTC promulgated rules 
that required consumers to register their phone numbers every 
five years and required the FTC to remove disconnected phone 
numbers periodically. H.R. 3541 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.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    In 2003, the FTC amended its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) 
to establish the Registry, which contains a list of consumers 
whom telemarketers are prohibited from calling. Today, the 
Registry contains over 145 million telephone numbers and has 
been tremendously successful in protecting consumers from 
unwanted telemarketing calls.
    In connection with the 2003 rulemaking proceeding, the FTC 
adopted a five-year re-registration mechanism and indicated 
that the Registry would be periodically purged of numbers that 
have been disconnected or reassigned. As part of the public 
comment period, the FTC was informed that 16 percent of all 
telephone numbers change each year and that 20 percent of all 
Americans move each year. The FTC determined that, unless the 
Registry included a process to counteract this effect, over a 
period of time, the Registry would include more and more 
numbers that had been disconnected and then reassigned to new 
subscribers even though the new subscribers might not object to 
receiving telemarketing calls. The FTC also noted that 13 State 
registries had re-registration requirements ranging from 1 year 
to 5 years, while 14 States had no re-registration requirement. 
Based on this record, the FTC concluded that a five-year 
registration period, coupled with periodic scrubbing of 
disconnected numbers adequately balanced privacy and commercial 
speech interests, as well as the need to maintain a high level 
of accuracy in the Registry with the imposition on consumers.
    In the interim, several changes have occurred that require 
Congress and the agency to revisit this issue. First, changes 
in the marketplace, including increased use of cell phones and 
increased popularity of telephone number portability, call into 
question the data underlying the 2003 rulemaking proceeding. 
Second, the FTC prevailed in two constitutional challenges to 
the Registry. See National Federation of the Blind v. FTC, 420 
F. 3d 331 (3rd Cir. 2005); Mainstream Mktg. Services v. FTC, 
358 F. 3rd 1228 (10th Cir. 2004). One overarching theme of the 
FTC's argument in those challenges involved the care that the 
FTC put forth in ensuring that the Registry included only the 
telephone numbers of consumers who had indicated a preference 
not to receive telemarketing calls. Third, the Registry has 
been implemented successfully for nearly five years with the 
operation of a scrubbing program through which telephone 
numbers that have been disconnected and reassigned are purged 
from the Registry on a monthly basis. Fourth, the Registry's 
unprecedented popularity means that tens of millions of numbers 
would soon have to be deleted and re-registered creating chaos 
and uncertainty. Special concerns have been raised about the 
affect on senior citizens.
    At an October 23, 2007, hearing before the Subcommittee on 
Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection on unrelated 
legislation, the Director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer 
Protection stated that: ``the Commission now commits that it 
will not drop any telephone numbers from the Registry based on 
the five-year expiration period pending final Congressional or 
agency action on whether to make registration permanent.'' The 
Committee reports this legislation to address this problem. It 
expects the FTC to continue its robust efforts to maintain the 
accuracy of the Registry and to ensure the continued 
effectiveness and success of the Do-Not-Call program.

                                Hearings

    No hearings were held in the Committee on H.R. 3541.

                        Committee Consideration

    On Tuesday, October 30, 2007, the full Committee met in 
open markup session and ordered H.R. 3541 favorably reported to 
the House, amended, by a voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken on amendments or in connection 
with ordering H.R. 3541 reported. A motion by Mr. Dingell to 
order H.R. 3541 favorably reported to the House, amended, was 
agreed to by a voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Regarding clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the oversight findings of the 
Committee regarding H.R. 3541 are reflected in this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    The purpose of H.R. 3541 is to reduce the harm to 
individuals from telemarketing fraud and abuse by prohibiting 
the FTC from removing phone numbers from the Registry at the 
end of specific time periods.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    Regarding compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XXI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that 
H.R. 3541 would result in no new or increased budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

                  Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits

    Regarding compliance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, H.R. 3541 does not contain any 
Congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R. 
3541 prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate on 
H.R. 3541 provided by the Congressional Budget Office pursuant 
to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

                                                 November 30, 2007.
Hon. John D. Dingell,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3541, 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.

H.R. 3541--Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007

    H.R. 3541 would prohibit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 
from removing phone numbers from its ``do-not-call'' registry 
except under certain conditions. The ``do-not-call'' registry 
contains a list of consumers that telemarketers are prohibited 
from calling. The bill would require the FTC to purge the 
registry twice per month of phone numbers that have been 
disconnected and reassigned. The bill also would require the 
FTC to remove phone numbers at consumers' request.
    When the registry was created in 2003, the FTC developed 
rules that required consumers to re-register their phone 
numbers every five years and required the FTC to remove 
disconnected phone numbers periodically. H.R. 3541 would codify 
and extend the rules by increasing the number of times per 
month the FTC must purge the registry of disconnected and 
reassigned numbers. Based on information from the FTC, CBO 
estimates that implementing the bill would cost less than 
$500,000 annually to purge the registry twice per month, rather 
than monthly, as performed under current law.
    H.R. 3541 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.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 3541 prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by H.R. 
3541.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for this legislation is provided in 
Article I, section 8, clause 3, which grants Congress the power 
to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among several 
States, and with the Indian tribes.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 establishes the short title of the bill as the 
``Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007''.

Section 2. Prohibition of expiration date for registered numbers

    Section 2 adds a new section to the Do-Not-Call 
Implementation Act (15 U.S.C. 6101 note). New Section 5(a) 
provides that telephone numbers registered on the Registry both 
since its establishment and after the date of enactment of H.R. 
3541 shall not be removed from the Registry except as provided 
for in subsection (b) or upon the request of the individual to 
whom the telephone number is assigned. Section 5(b) directs the 
FTC to check telephone numbers registered on the Registry 
against national or other appropriate databases twice each 
month, and to remove from the Registry those telephone numbers 
that have been disconnected and reassigned. The bill clarifies 
that nothing in this section prohibits the FTC from removing 
invalid telephone numbers from the Registry at any time.
    It continues to be the intention of the Committee to allow 
citizens who do not wish to receive calls covered under this 
legislation to opt out from receiving those calls in a simple, 
seamless, and reliable manner. In that regard, the Committee 
assumes that the FTC and the Federal Communications Commission 
will ensure that any contractor implementing the requirements 
of this legislation does so in a manner that does not result in 
the removal of citizens' phone numbers from the ``Do-Not-Call'' 
list solely because they have changed service providers, or 
because they have added or removed features from their service 
(e.g., caller ID, call waiting), so long as the service 
modification does not separate the citizen from the phone 
number they have registered with the ``Do-Not-Call'' list.
    The FTC submitted written views dated November 16, 2007, 
indicating that requiring that numbers be purged from the 
Registry twice a month is likely to result in more people being 
erroneously removed from the Registry (see Appendix). The 
Committee expects the FTC to maintain the accuracy of the 
Registry. As a result, the Committee intends to offer an 
amendment during Floor consideration to strike the mandate on 
frequency with which numbers must be removed from the Registry 
in light of the agency's views.


         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

DO-NOT-CALL IMPLEMENTATION ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 5. PROHIBITION OF EXPIRATION DATE.

  (a) No Automatic Removal of Numbers.--Telephone numbers 
registered on the national ``do-not-call'' registry of the 
Telemarketing Sales Rule (16 C.F.R. 310.4(b)(1)(iii)) since the 
establishment of the registry and telephone numbers registered 
on such registry after the date of enactment of this Act, shall 
not be removed from such registry except as provided for in 
subsection (b) or upon the request of the individual to whom 
the telephone number is assigned.
  (b) Removal of Invalid, Disconnected, and Reassigned 
Telephone Numbers.--The Federal Trade Commission shall check 
telephone numbers registered on the national ``do-not-call'' 
registry against national or other appropriate databases twice 
each month and shall remove from such registry those telephone 
numbers that have been disconnected and reassigned. Nothing in 
this section prohibits the Federal Trade Commission from 
removing invalid telephone numbers from the registry at any 
time.