H.R. 6131: To extend the Undertaking Spam, Spyware, And Fraud Enforcement With Enforcers beyond Borders Act of 2006, and for other purposes

H.R. 6131

To extend the Undertaking Spam, Spyware, And Fraud Enforcement With Enforcers beyond Borders Act of 2006, and for other purposes

Date
September 11, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 6131, a bill that would extend the Undertaking Spam, Spyware, And Fraud Enforcement With Enforcers beyond Borders Act of 2006, and for other purposes, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval.  The bill was introduced on July 17, 2012, by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. 

Bill Summary

H.R. 6131 would reauthorize the Undertaking Spam, Spyware, and Fraud Enforcement with Enforcers beyond Borders Act, which would otherwise expire on December 22, 2013.  The bill would extend the Act through September 30, 2020. 

Background

Current law authorizes the Federal Trade Commission to combat cross border fraud.  Specifically, the Undertaking Spam, Spyware, and Fraud Enforcement with Enforcers beyond Borders Act, amends the FTC Act definition of ‘‘unfair or deceptive acts or practices’’ to include acts of foreign commerce that:

  1. Cause or are likely to cause reasonably foreseeable injury within the United States; or
  2. Involve material conduct occurring within the United States.

Current law creates remedies for such unfair and deceptive acts or practices, including restitution to domestic or foreign victims.  Current law also permits the FTC to provide assistance to and share information with foreign government law enforcement agencies in the investigation and enforcement of violations of anti-fraud laws.  H.R. 6131 would extend this authority. 

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 6131 would have no significant effect on discretionary spending over the 2013-2017 period.  Enacting H.R. 6131 could result in collections of additional civil and criminal penalties, which would affect both revenues and direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.  However, CBO estimates that those effects also would be insignificant.