Skip Main Navigation
Office of Management and Budget
President's Budget
Information &
Regulatory Affairs
Legislative Information
Agency Information

November 8, 1999

S. 761 - Millennium Digital Commerce Act
(Abraham (R) Michigan and 11 cosponsors)

Electronic commerce can provide consumers and businesses with significant benefits in terms of costs, choice, and convenience. The Administration strongly supports the development of this marketplace and supports legislation that will advance that development, while providing appropriate consumer protection. Many businesses and consumers are still wary of conducting extensive business over the Internet because of the lack of a predictable legal environment governing transactions. Both the Congress and the Administration have been working to address this important potential impediment to commerce.

S. 761 addresses important concerns associated with electronic commerce and the rise of the Internet as a worldwide commercial forum and marketplace. The Administration supports Senate passage of the amendment in the nature of a substitute to S. 761 expected to be offered by Senator Abraham, based on an agreement with Senators Leahy and Wyden. The Administration supports this version of S. 761 because the bill, as proposed to be amended, would:

  • ensure the legal validity of contracts between private parties that are made and signed electronically;

  • preserve the ability of States to establish safeguards, such as consumer protection laws, to promote the public interest in electronic commerce among private parties just as they can now establish safeguards for paper-based commerce;

  • cover only commercial transactions between private parties that affect interstate commerce;

  • not affect Federal laws or regulations, but instead would give Federal agencies six months to conduct a careful study of barriers to electronic transactions under Federal laws or regulations and to develop plans to remove such barriers, where appropriate; and

  • sunset completely as to the law of any State that enacts the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act.