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September 25, 2003, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 746.
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Oklahoma Court Rules FTC Do Not Call Registry Invalid

9/24. The U.S. District Court (DOkla) issued an Order [19 page PDF scan] in U.S. Security v. FTC, holding that the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) rule creating a do not call registry exceeds the statutory authority of the FTC.

The District Court wrote that, ``Admittedly, the elimination of telemarketing fraud and the prohibition against deceptive and abusive telemarketing acts or practices are significant public concerns; however, ``an administrative agency's power to regulate in the public interest must always be grounded in a valid grant of authority from Congress. ... Absent such a grant of authority in this case, the Court finds the do-not-call provision to be invalid." (Citation omitted.)

The FTC released a statement in which it said that it has filed a motion for stay pending appeal with the District Court, and a notice of appeal. The FTC also stated that "Consumers may continue to sign up for the registry, and telemarketers may continue to access area codes in the registry. The Do Not Call registry currently contains 50.6 million consumers' telephone numbers."

FCC Chairman Michael Powell issued a statement [PDF] that "Congress, the FCC and the FTC have all been in agreement about the need to give consumers the opportunity to choose to prevent intrusions from unwanted telemarketing telephone calls. The do-not-call list is an appropriate mechanism to accomplish this task."

He added that "Despite today's court decision, we will work closely with the FTC and Congress to ensure that the do-not-call registry becomes a reality and American consumers can control the calls that come into their homes."

While the telemarketing industry has won this round, its prospects for permanently stopping a national do not call registry appear slim. The FTC may obtain a reversal of the District Court order. If not, the Congress is likely to amend the statute.

Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), the Chairman and ranking Democrat on the House Commerce Committee, released a joint statement: "We were disappointed to learn that a federal district court has invalidated the Federal Trade Commission's national do-not-call registry. We are confident this ruling will be overturned and the nearly 50 million Americans who have signed up for the do-not-call list will remain free from unwanted telemarketing calls in the privacy of their own homes."

They added that "Contrary to the court's decision, we firmly believe Congress gave the FTC authority to implement the national do-not-call list. We will continue to monitor the situation and will take whatever legislative action is necessary to ensure consumers can stop intrusive calls from unwanted telemarketers."

Similarly, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, issued a statement criticizing the Court decision. He wrote that "I strongly believe the recent District Court decision in Oklahoma incorrectly concludes that the FTC lacks authority to establish a national do-not-call registry. Earlier this year, Congress made clear its intent to protect consumers by ratifying the FTC's authority to create such a registry. ... to the extent the authority granted to the FTC by Congress needs any further clarification, I will work with my colleagues to provide this."

This case is U.S. Security, et al. v. Federal Trade Commission, D.C. No. CIV-03-122-W, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, Judge Lee West presiding.

Abernathy Addresses Broadband Over Powerline

9/22. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy gave a speech to the United PowerLine Council Annual Conference in Washington DC in which she addressed broadband over powerline (BPL). She advocated regulatory restraint.

Kathleen AbernathyAbernathy (at right) stated that she wants "to facilitate the deployment of broadband services to all Americans" and that "that the FCC can best promote consumer welfare by relying on market forces, rather than heavy-handed regulation."

She continued that the "development of BPL networks will serve both of these key goals. It will not only bring broadband to previously unserved communities, but the introduction of a new broadband pipeline into the home will foster the kind of competitive marketplace that will eventually enable the Commission to let go of the regulatory reins."

She then articulated her general approach of "regulatory restraint". She said that "It is tempting for regulators to take every new technology or service that comes along and apply the same rules that govern incumbent services. After all, regulatory parity and a level playing field are intuitively appealing concepts. But I believe that it would be a huge mistake to carry forward legacy regulations whenever new technology platforms are established. Many of our regulations are premised on the absence of competition, and when that rationale is eroded, we must not reflexively hold on to regulations that no longer serve their intended purpose. In fact, many of our old rules not only become unnecessary as markets evolve, but they can be fatal to new services that need room to breathe."

She again described and advocated what she calls the "nascent services doctrine". That is, "By avoiding the imposition of anachronistic regulations, regulators can best allow new technologies and services to flourish. Once facilities-based competition has taken root, regulators can begin to dismantle legacy regulatory regimes, rather than extend those regimes to include the new platforms."

She added that this "is about creating an environment conducive to investment in new infrastructure, because new platform providers create competition and innovation that ultimately benefits consumers far more than prescriptive regulation. In essence, short-term regulatory disparities are tolerated to generate long-term facilities-based competition."

Abernathy then focused on BPL and the FCC's current proceeding regarding BPL.

On April 23, 2003, the FCC adopted a Notice of Inquiry [21 pages in PDF] in its proceeding titled "In the Matter of Inquiry Regarding Carrier Current Systems, including Broadband over Power Line Systems". It released the text on April 29. See also, notice in the Federal Register, May 23, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 100, at Pages 28182 - 28186. August 6 was the deadline to submit comments; and September 5 was the deadline for reply comments.

See also, story titled "FCC Announces NOI Regarding Broadband Over Powerlines" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 628, April 24, 2003, and story titled "FCC Releases NOI on Broadband Over Power Lines" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 656, May 7, 2003. This is ET Docket No. 03-104. The NOI is FCC 03-100.

She stated that "I am especially pleased that, when the FCC adopted its Notice of Inquiry on BPL systems in April, we rejected proposals to seek comment on the application of legacy regulatory requirements to this platform. For example, some argued that the Commission should consider issues such as nondiscriminatory access for unaffiliated ISPs, and other regulatory requirements imposed on common carriers. I opposed such efforts because it is premature even to consider such regulatory intervention."

However, she also stated that "it is important to recognize that although the emergence of new platforms like BPL will eliminate the need for many competition-related regulations, other types of regulation may well remain necessary. For example, the FCC must implement public policy goals unrelated to competition, or even at odds with competition. Universal service and access for persons with disabilities are examples of this kind of regulation."

The FCC has received thousands of comments in response to its NOI. Although, most are short comments from amateur radio operators who state that BPL will interfere with their activities. Radio astronomers and short wave broadcasters have similar objections. Many of the longer comments also address interference, and studying interference.

See, for example, the lengthy comment [PDF] of the National Association for Amateur Radio. The Wireless Communications Association International also submitted a comment [PDF] expressing concern about harmful interference with wireless broadband service providers.

Some BPL related entities submitted comments stating the BPL has the potential to bring more facilities based competition to the broadband services market, and can coexist, without harmful interference, with preexisting power line infrastructures with minimal changes to Part 15 of the FCC's rules.

(Comments can be retrieved at the FCC's web page titled "Search for Filed Comments". Enter the docket number of this proceeding, 03-104, in the first box.)

The United PowerLine Council (UPLC), the group to which Commissioner Abernathy spoke, submitted a comment [PDF] in which it stated that "utilities have engaged in several significant trials producing encouraging results. Speeds are competitive with DSL and cable modem. The service is relatively inexpensive to deploy and easy for customers to use. Many of the technical hurdles to BPL deployment in the U.S. have been overcome, but the range of BPL is limited to substantially less than a mile. As a result, utilities are interested in commercial deployment of BPL systems, which will be determined in large part by the technical rules that the FCC ultimately adopts."

The UPLC also argued that "the existing Part 15 rules for carrier current systems adequately protect against interference, and that the existing measurement methods and Verification process for equipment authorization should be retained at this time."

Many comments also focused, like Commissioner Abernathy, on the regulatory framework for broadband technologies.

For example, Verizon, which provides broadband service by DSL, submitted a comment [PDF] in which it argued that "The emergence of BPL, along with the many other largely deregulated alternative broadband platforms ranging from cable to satellite to fixed wireless to WiFi and others, reinforces the urgent need for the Commission to classify all broadband services under Title I and to treat all broadband providers equally. Local wireline companies face a host of burdensome regulatory obligations when they provide broadband, while their competitors operate largely free from regulation."

Alliance for Public Technology (APT) submitted a comment [APT] in which it argued that "All broadband providers must operate under the same rules. ... An important component of this regulatory parity is the continued existence of consumer protections that have governed the telecommunications world."

There is also the argument that the FCC ought to prevent electric utility companies from exerting monopoly control over their essential facilities. That is, they may provide broadband internet services, while at the same time restricting access to their poles by competitors.

Info Tech and Productivity Growth

9/24. Federal Reserve Board Governor Donald Kohn gave a speech titled "Productivity and Monetary Policy" at a Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Monetary Seminar. He examined the growth in labor productivity in the late 1990s and again in the last two years, the consequences of this for aggregate demand, and the implications for monetary policy makers.

While the focus of his speech was not the effect of new technologies on productivity, he did make several statements regarding this topic.

He stated that "Steep decreases in the prices of high-tech equipment contributed to a boom in investment as companies acquired new capital equipment to make use of new technology."

He also said that "Lags between the introduction of new technology and its full effects on productivity have been evident in history, and perhaps we are now seeing a version of these lags with respect to information technology. In the second half of the 1990s, the cost of high-tech equipment was falling so quickly and applications for it were spreading so rapidly that businesses found that they could raise productivity substantially by buying large amounts of this new equipment and other capital goods geared to working with it. In recent years, businesses have concentrated on reorganizing and rationalizing production processes to more fully realize the efficiencies inherent in the new equipment and the changing skills of the workforce."

He elaborated that "The rapid growth of output, the high profits, and the elevated share prices of the second half of the 1990s seemed to lead businesses to concentrate on expanding and on acquiring the latest technology rather than on wringing all they could out of the capital they were buying."

Ashcroft Addresses Roving Wiretaps and Access to Business Records

9/22. Attorney General John Ashcroft gave another speech in which he addressed the expansion of law enforcement powers under the USA PATRIOT Act. He covered roving wiretaps, and access to business records under Section 215 of the Act.

He stated that "for years we have been able to use roving wiretaps in organized crime and drug cases. If a drug trafficker is working on a big haul of contraband and moves from his home phone to his office phone and then to his cell phone, the FBI can use the same wiretap to listen to all his conversations, instead of having to get a warrant for each phone the trafficker is using. If tools like this have worked against gangsters, drug king pins and murderers, then why shouldn't we use them against terrorists?"

"We should. And that's why Congress ... led by Chairman Sensenbrenner ... passed the PATRIOT Act by a wide, bipartisan margin ... to give law enforcement the same tools and capabilities to prevent terrorism that we have used to combat other forms of crime", said Ashcroft

Ashcroft spoke in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, represents a Milwaukee area district.

He continued that "Recently, some in Washington have created an hysteria that local libraries are ``under siege by the FBI, that we are rifling through the reading records of everyday Americans. The fact is, with just 11,000 FBI agents and over a billion visitors to America's libraries each year, the Department of Justice has neither the staffing, the time the inclination, nor the authority to monitor the reading habits of Americans."

"I asked the FBI and the Department of Justice to declassify the report on how many times we have used the Patriot Act business record authority to check library records. And what did the report reveal? No one's reading habits have been reviewed. Not a single American's library records have been reviewed under the Patriot Act", said Ashcroft.

People and Appointments

9/23. The Senate confirmed Kim Gibson to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (WDPenn) by a vote of 94-0. See, Roll Call No. 357.

9/24. The Senate confirmed Larry Alan Burns to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (SDCal) by a vote of 91-0. See, Roll Call No. 363.

9/23. Vice President Dick Cheney gave a speech in Manchester, New Hampshire, in which he addressed "fixing the judicial confirmation process". He stated that "far too many nominations to the federal bench are being held up by the threat of filibuster. Our friends on the other side of the aisle refuse to allow nominees of great merit to even have a vote on the Senate floor. Well qualified nominees have been attacked by Senate Democrats who have blocked an up-or-down vote. Earlier this month, an outstanding nominee, Miguel Estrada, withdrew his name from consideration after waiting more than two years for a vote. The treatment of this fine man, who was deemed by everybody to be well qualified for the court, has been truly disgraceful. It's time to restore dignity and civility to the confirmation process by making sure that every person nominated to the federal bench gets a timely up-or-down vote." President Bush had nominated Estrada to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir). Judicial confirmations was also a frequent theme in President Bush's political speeches leading up to the 2002 mid-term elections.

Thursday, September 25

New items are highlighted in red.

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. See, Republican Whip Notice.

Day two of a two day conference hosted by the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA). Press contact: Gregory Minchak at 202-783-0070 ext. 109 or gminchak@ccianet.org. Location: The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, 3100 South Street, NW. The agenda includes the following speeches:
  8:00 AM. Rep. Martin Frost (D-TX).
  8:45 AM. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL).
  9:30 AM. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA).
  10:15 AM. Rep. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
  10:45 AM. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).
  12:00 NOON. Luncheon: Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS).
  2:00 PM. Bruce Mehlman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology.
  2:45 PM. Hewitt Pate, Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division.
  3:30 PM. Marsha MacBride, FTC Office of Strategic Planning.

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The (CSIS) will host a conference titled "Americans and Homeland Security". Location: Phoenix Park Hotel, Ballroom, 520 N. Capitol St., NW. The agenda includes the following events:
  9:00 AM. Opening by Rep. Jim Turner (D-TX).
  9:20 AM. Panel titled "Assessing Risk: Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Setting Priorities"; Arnaud de Borchgrave (CSIS), William Parrish (DHS), Philip Anderson (Lucent), John MacGaffin, and David Heyman (CSIS).
  10:40 AM. Panel titled "Balancing Security, Privacy, and Civil Liberties"; Anne Witkowsky (CSIS), Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), Nuala Kelly (DHS Chief Privacy Officer), Joseph Onek (Georgetown Univ.), and Stewart Baker (Steptoe & Johnson).
  12:00 NOON. Luncheon speakers: John Hamre (CSIS) and James Gilmore (former Governor of Virginia).
  1:15 PM. Panel titled "Communicating with the Public Before and Throughout a Crisis"; Jay Farrar (CSIS), Tasia Scolinos (DHS), James Lee Witt, Ed Staffa (National Association of Chain Drug Stores), and Jim Pebley (Arlington Citizen Corps Council).
  2:35 PM. Panel titled "Protective Action Responses: Shelter, Evacuation, Quarantine, and Medical Countermeasures"; Amanda Dory (CSIS), Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT), Jerry Hauer (HHS), Lynn Davis (RAND), and Jason Sapsin (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health).

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Day one of a two day conference pubic workshop by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on building secure configurations, security settings, and security checklists for information technology products widely used in the federal government. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 11, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 133, at Pages 41313 - 41314. Location: NIST, Lecture Room B, Bldg 101, Gaithersburg, MD.

9:00 AM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) North American Numbering Council (NANC) will meet. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 2, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 169, at Page 52210.

9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes consideration of several judicial nominees, including Carlos Bea (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit), Henry Saad (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit), Charles Pickering (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit). See, notice. This committee frequently departs from the announced agendas of its business meetings. Press contact: Margarita Tapia (Hatch) at 202 224-5225 or David Carle (Leahy) at 202 224-4242. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

9:30 AM. The U.S. District Court (DC) will hold a status conference in Genentech v. Rogan, D.C. No. 03-0050. Location: Courtroom 2, 333 Constitution Ave., NW.

10:00 AM. The House Government Reform Committee will meet to mark up several bills, including HR __, the "Government Network Security Act of 2003". Location: Room 2154, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The House Science Committee will hold a hearing titled "Keeping the Lights on: Removing Barriers to Technology to Prevent Blackouts". The witnesses will be James Glotfelty (U.S. Department of Energy), T.J. Glauthier (Electricity Innovation Institute), Vernon Smith (Professor at George Mason University), and Tom Casten (Private Power LLC). Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.

11:00 AM. Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK), Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA), other representatives, and state legislators will hold a press conference to announce the introduction of HR __, the "Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Act". Press contact: Nicole Rowe at 202 789-2111. Location: Cannon Terrace, Cannon Building.

Day two of a three day course hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and offered by MIS Training Institute, titled "Securing and Auditing Virtual Office Networks". The price to attend is $435. See, notice. Location: NIST, Gaithersburg, MD.

Friday, September 26

The House will not meet. See, Republican Whip Notice.

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Day two of a two day conference pubic workshop by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on building secure configurations, security settings, and security checklists for information technology products widely used in the federal government. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 11, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 133, at Pages 41313 - 41314. Location: NIST, Lecture Room B, Bldg 101, Gaithersburg, MD.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host a panel discussion titled "Universal Service: Who Gives, Who Gets and For How Long?" The speakers will be Matt Brill (senior legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy), Kathryn Brown (Verizon), John Rose (OPASTCO), John Stanton (Western Wireless), and Nanette Thompson (Regulatory Commission of Alaska); Raymond Gifford (PFF) will moderate. RSVP to Rebecca Fuller at 202 289-8928 or rfuller@pff.org. Lunch will be served. Location: Room 2105, Rayburn Building.

Day three of a three day course hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and offered by MIS Training Institute, titled "Securing and Auditing Virtual Office Networks". The price to attend is $435. See, notice. Location: NIST, Gaithersburg, MD.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Notice of Inquiry (NOI) that solicits "data and information on the status of competition in the market for the delivery of video programming for our tenth annual report".

Monday, September 29

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age will hold its first meeting. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 10, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 175, at Pages 53376 - 53377. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, Room TW-C305, 445 12th St. SW.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Young Lawyers Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The topic will be "Hot Topics in Consumer Affairs". For more information, contact Pam Slipakoff at 202 418-7705 or pslipako@fcc.gov. Location: Hogan and Hartson, 555 13th Street, NW.

Deadline to submit nominations to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for membership on the FCC's Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (IAC), which was previously known as the Local and State Government Advisory Committee. The FCC stated that this Committee provides "ongoing advice and information to the Commission on a broad range of telecommunications issues of interest to state, local and tribal governments, including cable and local franchising, public rights-of-way, facilities siting, universal service, broadband access, barriers to competitive entry, and public safety communications, for which the Commission explicitly or inherently shares responsibility or administration with local, county, state, or tribal governments." The deadline to submit nominations is September 29, 2003. See, FCC release [PDF] and FCC notice [3 pages in PDF].

Tuesday, September 30

8:30 AM - 6:00 PM. Day one of a two day conference titled "Workshop on Regional, State and Local Initiatives in Nanotechnology", hosted by the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO). See, agenda [PDF]. Location: DOC, Main Auditorium, 14th Street and Constitution Ave., NW.

10:00 AM. The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing titled "State of the Securities Industry". Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman William Donaldson will testify. See, notice. Location: Room 538 Dirksen Building.

Deadline to submit applications to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for its Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory Grants Program (EEEL). The NIST stated that the EEEL Grants Program provides "grants and cooperative agreements for the development of fundamental electrical metrology and of metrology supporting industry and government agencies in the broad areas of semiconductors, electronic instrumentation, radio-frequency technology, optoelectronics, magnetics, video, electronic commerce as applied to electronic products and devices, the transmission and distribution of electrical power, national electrical standards (fundamental, generally  quantum-based physical standards), and law enforcement standards." See, notice in the Federal Register, February 20, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 34, at Pages 8211-8226.

Deadline to submit comments to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in response to it second Privacy Act notice and request for comments regarding its proposal to establish a new system of records to support the development of a new version of the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System, CAPPS II. See, Federal Register, August 1, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 148, at Pages 45265 - 45269.

Wednesday, October 1

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Day two of a two day conference titled "Workshop on Regional, State and Local Initiatives in Nanotechnology", hosted by the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO). See, agenda [PDF]. Location: DOC, Main Auditorium, 14th Street and Constitution Ave., NW.

The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) will require full compliance with its amended Telemarketing Sales Rule as of October 1, 2003. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 4, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 65, at Pages 16414 - 16415.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rules changes pertaining to USPTO fees takes effect. See, notice in the Federal Register July 14, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 134, at Pages 41532 - 41535. However, legislation is pending in the Congress that would supercede this rule. On July 9, 2003 the House Judiciary Committee approved HR 1561, the "United States Patent and Trademark Fee Modernization Act of 2003". See, story titled "House Judiciary Committee Approves USPTO Fee Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 695, July 10, 2003.

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Day one of a two day meeting of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Compact Council for the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact. See, notice in the Federal Register: August 28, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 167, at Page 51807. Location: Radisson Hotel Old Town Alexandria, 901 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA.

Bills Passed

9/24. The House passed the conference report on HR 2555, the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, by a vote of 417-8. See, Roll Call No. 515. President Bush said he will sign the bill. See, statement.

9/24. The House passed the conference report on HR 2658, the Department of Defense appropriations bill for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, by a vote of 407-15. See, Roll Call No. 513. The Senate has yet to pass the conference report.

9/17. The House passed HR 49, the "Internet Tax and Nondiscrimination Act" under suspension of the rules by voice vote. This bill would permanently extend the moratorium on taxes on internet access and multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. The full Senate has yet to pass its version of the bill. See, TLJ story titled "House Judiciary Committee Approves Internet Tax Bill", July 16, 2003, and story titled "Senate Commerce Committee Approves Bill to Extend Internet Tax Moratorium" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 709, August 1, 2003.

Bills Introduced

9/16. Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) introduced HR 3089, a bill to establish a grant program, to be administered by the Department of Commerce, to assist state and local governments in obtaining broadband infrastructure, computers, and software to facilitate the conduct of electronic governance transactions at libraries and elementary and secondary schools. It was referred to the House Commerce Committee.

9/17. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT), Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced S 1630, a bill to facilitate nationwide availability of 211 telephone service for information and referral services. It was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

9/17. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) introduced S 1635, a bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act regarding the issuance of L-1 visas for intracompany transferees. It was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

9/18. Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN), Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced S 1637, the "Jumpstart Our Business Strength (JOBS) Act". This bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to bring the U.S. tax laws into compliance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) rulings that the FSC and ETI tax regimes constitute export subsidies. It was referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

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