Bipartisan Bills Will Protect Consumers and Reduce Regulatory Burden on Manufacturers
WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives this week built upon the Energy and Commerce Committee’s #RecordOfSuccess by approving two more commonsense and bipartisan pieces of legislation.
Authored by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), full committee Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), and Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), H.R. 3670, the Anti-Spoofing Act protects consumers against fraudulent actors and deceptive text messages by updating the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009, which prohibits entities from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information. The House approved H.R. 3670 on Tuesday evening by voice vote.
“Scammers are using technology to work around an outdated law and the practice of spoofing needs to be stopped. This bill will broaden protections for consumers by holding spoofing companies outside the US accountable, stopping abusers from using text messages, and including IP-enabled voice services,” said Barton. “I am happy to have struck this balance with those we worked with on this legislation, and I am glad to have the support of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”
“Fraudsters adapt to new technology which means the law needs to as well. By outlawing Caller ID spoof texting we are giving consumers another layer of protection from scammers, spammers and unscrupulous telemarketers,” added Lance. “It’s a simple fix but a new and important safeguard, especially for senior citizens.”
The House also approved H.R. 5161, the E-LABEL Act, authored by Communications and Technology Subcommittee Vice Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH), full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), and subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA). The legislation reduces regulatory burdens faced by electronics manufacturers. It removes the requirement that electronic devices contain a physical label to detail information required by the FCC and gives manufacturers the option of providing labeling information on the screen of the device. The House unanimously approved H.R. 5161 on Thursday.
“In the midst of this innovation era, it is critical that our laws recognize these advancements and are updated to foster continued investment and opportunities for future development,” said Latta. “Not only will this give manufacturers greater flexibility to design innovative products that consumers demand, but by some estimates e-labeling will save manufacturers over $80 million per year. Consumers will also benefit from the efficiencies created by e-labeling. E-labeling can expand consumer access to relevant device information, and enhance the overall quality and availability of equipment identification records through supporting software.”
Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) weighed in, saying, “By approving the Anti-Spoofing Act and the E-Label Act, the House voted to protect consumers and relieve the regulatory burden on electronics manufacturers. We have worked day in and day out to reduce the size of the federal government and make it work better for consumers and job creators. These bills do just that and add to the Energy and Commerce Committee’s impressive bipartisan record of success.”