George W. Bush photo

Remarks on Signing Legislation To Ratify the Authority of the Federal Trade Commission To Establish a Do-Not-Call Registry

September 29, 2003

Good afternoon. Thank you all for coming, and welcome back to the White House.

This summer, the Federal Trade Commission, ably headed by Tim Muris, and the Federal Communications Commission, ably headed by Michael Powell, joined to create a national Do-Not-Call Registry. The registry allows Americans to shield their home and cell phone numbers from most unwanted telemarketing calls. By signing up over the phone or online, people can protect their privacy and their family time from intrusive, annoying, unwelcome commercial solicitations.

The Do-Not-Call Registry is a practical solution to address a growing concern. I'm honored that Senator Stevens is with us, the chairman; Congressman Billy Tauzin, the chairman, is with us; Ed Markey, ranking member; Fred Upton. I appreciate you all coming.

The reason they're here is they acted to a response from the judiciary. They acted as well because the American people clearly like the idea of a Do-Not-Call Registry. After all, since the first signup day 3 months ago, Americans have entered over 50 million telephone numbers in the Do-Not-Call Registry.

While many good people work in the telemarketing industry, the public is understandably losing patience with these unwanted phone calls, unwanted intrusions. And given a choice, Americans prefer not to receive random sales pitches at all hours of the day. And the American people should be free to restrict these calls.

Last week, a Federal judge objected to the Do-Not-Call Registry on the grounds that Congress had not authorized its creation. So the House and the Senate authorized its creation. You acted swiftly, and I want to congratulate you very much. It's a really good action. The Senate voted 95- 0; the House 412-8. This affirmed the decision by the FTC, and it's affirmed the wishes of the American people.

The Do-Not-Call Registry is still being challenged in court. Yet, the conclusion of the American people and the legislative branch and the executive branch is beyond question. So today I'm pleased to sign this important piece of legislation into law. Want to come and join us?

NOTE: The President spoke at 3:40 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. H.R. 3161, approved September 29, was assigned Public Law No. 108-82. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of these remarks.

George W. Bush, Remarks on Signing Legislation To Ratify the Authority of the Federal Trade Commission To Establish a Do-Not-Call Registry Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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