Statement of FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris

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Late last year, the Federal Trade Commission issued rules creating the National Do Not Call Registry under the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act. On February 13, 2003, the Congress passed the Do Not Call Implementation Act, which authorized the FTC to collect fees from sellers and telemarketers to "implement and enforce the provisions relating to the 'do-not-call' registry." The President signed this bill on March 11, 2003. Moreover, on February 20, 2003, the President signed the Omnibus Appropriations Act, which authorizes the FTC to "implement and enforce the do-not-call provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule."

Despite this clear legislative direction, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has ruled that the FTC exceeded its authority in creating the National Do Not Call Registry.

This decision is clearly incorrect. We will seek every recourse to give American consumers a choice to stop unwanted telemarketing calls.

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Cathy MacFarlane
Office of Public Affairs