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First Gov  

November 2, 1999

H.R. 170 - Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act
(LoBiondo (R) NJ and 148 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly supports H.R. 170, the Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act, that will be considered on the suspension calendar. H.R. 170 would protect consumers against deceptive mailing and sweepstakes practices and reinforce their rights by establishing standards for disclosure and financial penalties for sponsors who fail to comply with those standards.

H.R. 170 would establish standards for sweepstakes mailings, skill contests, and facsimile checks. The bill would restrict "government look-alike" documents and create a uniform notification system to allow individuals to remove their names and addresses from all major sweepstakes mailing lists at one time. It would also create strong financial penalties for: not disclosing all terms, conditions, rules, and entry procedures of a contest; the continuation of mailings after an individual has requested cessation; and the failure to comply with a Postal Service "stop order." In addition, H.R. 170 would increase the authority of the Postal Service to investigate and stop deceptive mailings while permitting States to establish a higher level of protection for consumers.

Congress has heard evidence of widespread confusion by consumers and clearly misleading mailing and sweepstakes practices. The Administration urges passage of H.R. 170 to protect consumers and address these concerns.