This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, September 26, 2003, that was edited for clarity.
Watch Your World w/Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET.
BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: My next guest is one of eight members in the House to vote against the Do Not Call legislation.
Joining us by phone is U.S. Representative Lee Terry of Nebraska, who says he is looking out for the 39,000 telemarketing employees who will lose their jobs.
Thanks so much for joining us, Representative. We appreciate it.
REP. LEE TERRY, R-NEB.: Thank you! I appreciate the opportunity to be on your show, Brenda.
BUTTNER: So is that all it’s all about, is just these jobs in your district?
TERRY: Well, I’m a representative for this area, and we’re the telemarketing capital here, just 38 businesses that are in marketing and 38,000 jobs, and we may lose as many as 12,000 job as we’re trying to recover from the recession, and that’s just a blow to my district, my home town.
BUTTNER: Well, yes. You know, sir I have great sympathy for you. In fact, I am never rude to these people, I never hang up on them. In fact, I earned my way through college in part by doing this work. It’s not the actual guys on the problem who are the problem. It’s the companies that own them. But it is annoying and, frankly, Americans hate it. More than 50 million Americans have signed up for this thing. Congress overwhelmingly passed it. The president wants to sign this legislation. Doesn’t the fact that you’re trying to save these jobs just smack of socialism?
TERRY: Well, no. Actually, I’d say it’s the other way around, the fact that we’re not allowing private-sector solutions, but say, hey, 51million Americans don’t like telemarketers, so we’re going to give more power to the American government and just say we’re going to kill an industry. Now that sounds more like socialism.
BUTTNER: It’s not killing an industry. It’s not killing an industry. It’s saying Americans don’t want to be bothered by this in their home, we don’t want to allow you into our house.
TERRY: Right. And there are plenty of private-sector solutions that a customer of a phone company can buy for, I think, six bucks a month, a no-solicitation option. You don’t have to run to the government to do this because, once you do it by a government, I really do believe that they are saying we want to eliminate the outbound telemarketing industry.
BUTTNER: But, sir, if enough Americans go out and buy these $6 things, the outcome is going to be the same. You’re going to lose these jobs. In the end, I think you’re going to lose these jobs. This industry is outdated. Americans don’t like it.
TERRY: Well, you’re right, and, frankly I don’t like it when I get calls, but it turns out that sometimes when a telemarketer calls my house, it’s the son or daughter of a neighbor. So I’m pretty kind them to as well.
BUTTNER: Yes, but do you like the calls? Do you listen to the whole thing if it’s not a son or daughter?
TERRY: I usually tell them I’m not interested, and I’m polite like you are, and I haven’t bought any of the systems or gone on to a Do Not Call list.
BUTTNER: But you do understand, sir, why this is a populist movement.
BUTTNER: I can’t think of any other thing that Americans hate more unconditionally to get this kind of a vote in Congress and to get president’s support.
BUTTNER: I mean there’s probably no more popular movement, and you’re moving against it.
TERRY: And I don’t mind being the lone ranger when I’m protecting as many as 12,000 jobs in my district. You know, it’s annoying, but, for a lot of people in my district, that’s what’s putting bread on their table.
BUTTNER: Well, I understand that, but it can’t just be that you try to save a job for the sake of saving a job. Perhaps it’s that you create another kind of job within your district. Perhaps that’s the answer.
TERRY: Well, I wish it were that easy. We hear a lot of people on your shows talk about a jobless recovery that we’re in, and it just make it worse when we adopt government policies that are going to force more unemployment.
BUTTNER: OK, sir. Well, I’m not going to give out your phone number, because you know what would happen, but...
TERRY: We’ve gotten a lot of those calls in our office already.
BUTTNER: All right. Thank you, sir, very much. Thank you for being a good sport.
Representative Lee Terry.
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