September 21, 2004

Legislative Activity


Date: September 21, 2004

To: AAF Members

From: Clark Rector, SVP-state government affairs
Jennifer Akridge, manager-government affairs

Re: Urgent Action Needed – Support “No Fax” Legislation


California Senator Barbara Boxer (D) has indicated she will not approve legislation that would restore an “established business relationship” (EBR) exception to the Federal Communication Commission's rule governing unsolicited faxes without major modifications. The bill “The Junk Fax Prevention Act” (S. 2603) aims to maintain current “no fax” rules while allowing businesses to contact their clients and associations to communicate with their members; without first obtaining the client/member's written consent. Without Congressional approval of this bill, the FCC's revised “no fax” rule will take effect on January 1, 2005, and drastically impede business and association communications. The bill must be passed by unanimous consent if it is to be passed this session, before the FCC rule takes effect. The Senate's schedule does not allow for consideration of this bill in an amended form prior to adjournment. By refusing her consent, Sen. Boxer alone can hold up this important piece of legislation.

Sen. Boxer is pressing legislators to attach the creation of a “no fax” list, similar to the “do not call” registry, to S. 2603 in order to garner her approval. A “no fax” registry could be devastating to legitimate business communications while unscrupulous marketers would continue to violate the “no fax” list as they currently violate existing rules governing truthful advertising and “no fax” requirements. Sen. Boxer's “no fax” list requirement may offer no relief to consumers but would have the opposite effect by blocking legislation that would uphold current “no fax” rules while allowing the unimpeded flow of legitimate communications.

Please contact Sen. Boxer's office by phone or e-mail as listed below today and urge her to support S. 2603, “The Junk Fax Prevention Act.”

Senator Barbara Boxer
Phone (202) 224-3553
To send an e-mail, you must use the Senate's Web form at http://boxer.senate.gov/contact/webform.cfm.

The following points may be used to underline the devastating effect to California businesses that the FCC rule could have if S. 2603 does not receive the Senator's consent.

  • After surveying its members, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the cost of the new rule to the average small business would be at least $5,000 in the first year and more than $3,000 per year thereafter.
  • The majority of small businesses would be required to obtain written consent for more than 100 separate fax numbers in the first year of implementation. For many small businesses and, the number of required consents would be in the thousands. For AAF and many other associations, the number would be in the tens of thousands.
  • The impact on larger businesses is exponentially greater. Many large companies deal with hundreds of thousands of existing customers, and the costs of obtaining and maintaining individual written consent forms for each fax number used to communicate with each customer would be overwhelming.
  • The small business respondents to the Chamber's survey also predict an increase in the time it takes to complete projects, decreased communications with customers, the loss of potential business opportunities, and the loss of existing customers.
  • The impact on larger companies in these areas would be similar in scope and far greater in economic impact. The result would be huge increases in the cost of doing business.

Please contact me by phone at (202) 898-0089 or by e-mail at jakridge@aaf.org, if you have any questions about this legislation or require assistance. Please let us know if you receive any response to your communications with the Senator. AAF appreciates your support.