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 Home > News & Policies > September 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 29, 2003

President Signs Do Not Call Registry
Remarks by the President on the Do Not Call Registry
The Roosevelt Room

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3:40 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: 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 on-line, people can protect their privacy and their family time from intrusive, annoying, unwelcome commercial solicitations.

President George W. Bush signs the Do Not Call Registry in the Roosevelt Room Sept. 29, 2003. Pictured with the President are, from left, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass.; Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.; Federal Trade Commission Chairman Timothy Muris; Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La. (behind President Bush); Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell; and Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.  White House photo by Eric Draper

FTC Chairman Tim Muris FTC Chairman Tim Muris answered your questions on the Do Not Call Registry on "Ask the White House." Read the transcript.
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 sign-up day three 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?

(The bill is signed.)

END 3:42 P.M. EDT