DNC Funding Bill Demands FTC, FCC Cooperation

A bill to fund the national no-call registry under consideration today would require two federal agencies to issue a report later this year on how they are coordinating efforts to create new regulations for telemarketers.

U.S. Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-LA, submitted a bill yesterday that would authorize the Federal Trade Commission to charge fees to fund the national do-not-call list for five years, between 2003 and 2007. The bill is scheduled for a vote at a House Energy & Commerce Committee markup to follow the committee's organizational meeting at 1 p.m. today.

Under the bill, H.R. 395, the Federal Communications Commission, which is creating national DNC rules alongside the FTC, would have 180 days after the bill's passage to issue a final rule regarding national no-call. Forty-five days after the FCC issues the rule, both it and the FTC each must send the committee a report analyzing the rules each agency has established, identifying any inconsistencies between the two and suggesting how the inconsistencies could be corrected.

Tauzin, who chairs the committee, had expressed concern at a Jan. 8 briefing that potential conflicts between the FTC and FCC no-call rules could arise. FTC chairman Timothy Muris offered assurances that the two agencies are coordinating on the issue.

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