Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) unveiled a bipartisan version of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (HR 3375) in the House of Representatives to stop abusive robocall practices.
“Americans deserve to be free of the daily danger and harassment of robocalls,” Pallone and Walden said. “It’s time we end the robocall epidemic and restore trust back into our phone system. We’re pleased to announce we’ve reached a deal on comprehensive bipartisan legislation to stop illegal robocalls.”
“The bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act offers consumers a way out by ensuring that every call they get is verified,” Pallone and Walden continued. “Americans should be able to block robocalls in a consistent and transparent way without being charged extra for it. Our legislation also gives the FCC and law enforcement the authority to enforce the law and quickly go after scammers. We look forward to moving this bill through the Communications and Technology Subcommittee next week.”
Last year, an estimated 47.8 billion robocalls were placed nationwide, an increase of 17 billion calls over the previous year. Illegal robocalls affect American life In increasingly harmful ways, from scams to defraud consumers to disrupting our health care system. Earlier this year, Pallone introduced the original version of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act and the Committee held a legislative hearing on the proposal, and other legislation, in April. Communications & Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Ranking Member Bob Latta (R-OH), who introduced the Support Tools to Obliterate Pesky (STOP) Robocalls Act earlier this year, joined Pallone and Walden as original cosponsors.
The bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act:
- Requires that phone carriers implement call authentication technology so consumers can trust their caller ID again, with no additional line-item for consumers, and includes a process to help rural carriers implement this technology.
- Allows carriers to offer call blocking services to consumers with no additional line charge on an opt-out basis with important transparency safeguards to make sure important calls aren’t inadvertently blocked.
- Directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to issue rules to protect consumers from calls they didn’t agree to receive and to ensure consumers can withdraw consent.
- Requires the FCC to enact safeguards so companies can’t abuse robocall exemptions.
- Ensures the FCC has the authority and the tools to take strong, quick action when it tracks down robocallers, including by extending the statute of limitations from one year to three, and in some instances four, years for callers violating robocall prohibitions.
- Mandates the FCC to submit a report to Congress on the implementation of its reassigned numbers database to make sure the Commission is effectively protecting consumers from unwanted calls.
Section-by-Section summary available HERE
Bill text available HERE.