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E&C Leaders Praise House Passage of Anti-Robocalls Bill

Dec 4, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Latta (R-OH) released the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed their anti-robocalls bill, the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, by an overwhelming vote of 417-3:

“We’re proud of this overwhelming vote by the House to pass the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act today.  This legislation combats the robocall epidemic by ensuring every call Americans receive will be verified and can be blocked at no extra cost to consumers.  It also gives the Federal Communications Commission and law enforcement the authority to quickly go after scammers.  The American people are demanding relief from these calls, and the House has delivered.  We look forward to quick Senate action on this bill so it can be sent to the President’s desk for his signature.”

In May, the Senate passed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act by a vote of 97-1.  In July, the House of Representatives passed the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act by an overwhelming vote of 429-3.  There were significant differences between the two bills, which were reconciled as part of a bipartisan, bicameral  agreement announced by the House and Senate last month.  This agreement increases the chances of this bill passing the Senate and being signed into law by the President.

The Pallone-Thune TRACED Act:

  • Requires carriers to offer call-authentication technology to consumers and small businesses—in rural and urban America—at no additional charge;
  • Requires opt-in or opt-out robocall blocking be offered at no additional charge to consumers;
  • Gives the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the ability to step up enforcement actions against unlawful robocalls with a longer statute of limitations and increased fines in certain cases;
  • Pushes the Department of Justice to bring more criminal prosecutions against criminal robocallers;
  • Requires the FCC to work to stop one-ring scams;
  • Helps the FCC and responsible carriers traceback and cutoff suspect phone companies that are responsible for sending vast numbers of unlawful robocalls; and
  • Protects patients, doctors and hospitals from unlawful robocalls.

Click HERE for bill text.

Click HERE for a section-by-section summary.