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FTC CHAIRMAN JANET STEIGER SWORN IN AUG. 11

Executive Summary

FTC CHAIRMAN JANET STEIGER SWORN IN AUG. 11, following the Aug. 3 Senate confirmation of her nomination. Steiger, a Republican, was named Federal Trade Commission chairman by President Bush for a term expiring in September 1995; she replaces Daniel Oliver, who held the post for three years. Steiger has been Postal Rate Commission chairman for the last seven years and is also chairman of the Commission on Veterans' Educational Policy, a post she has held for two years. Steiger will assume control of the FTC at a time of relative inactivity for the agency. Her predecessor was widely regarded as a laissez-faire regulator. The FTC's authority is the subject of a bill introduced June 22 by Sen. Bryan (D-Nev.). S 1249 offers amendments to the FTC Act to help clarify the commission's authority "without a dramatic restructuring," Bryan said. No corresponding legislation has been introduced in the House. The measure is intended in part "to prevent the FTC from using its limited resources in pursuit of areas that can be effectively dealt with on the state or local level," according to Bryan. It would also require the agency to provide information regarding certain competitive practices "so that Congress can evaluate the FTC's performance in these areas." The proposed legislation is similar to previous FTC authorization bills approved by the Senate. A 1987 bill foundered when differences between the Senate and House bills were not resolved. Co-sponsors of the current bill include Sens. Hollings (D-SC), Gore (D-TN), Breaux (D-LA) and Ford (D-KY). Hollings noted that "The FTC is an agency that needs to be re-authorized so that Congress can provide direction to the agency as to its functions."
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