House votes to loosen fax restrictions

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Washington, D.C.--The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to permit the sending of commercial faxes to existing customers. The measure now goes to the Senate.

American Business Media has asked its members to help support the bill’s passage unchanged from the current version.

At issue, said ABM, is the push by some lobbyists to have the “established business relationship” end 18 months after a transaction or three months after an inquiry. The ABM said it strongly opposes that change because it imposes an unmanageable record-keeping burden on businesses.

According to an e-mail to ABM members from the association’s counsel, David Straus, “If there is any chance for this bill to emerge unscathed from the Senate, we must get in touch with the senators on the Senate Commerce Committee.” He added, “Certainly if you have a presence in Arizona, Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington or West Virginia, it is crucial that you call or e-mail your senator on the committee with a simple message: ‘Support S. 2603 without change.’ Imposition of a time limit on established business relationships would create an insurmountable burden on small businesses using faxes for legitimate purposes.”

--Carol Krol

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