The ongoing battle for the fight against robocalls has found a stronger line of defense after the US House of Representatives pass the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (H.R. 3375) on Wednesday, July 24 by a vote of 429-3.
The Act is as follows:
- 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-item charge, 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.
Committee on Energy & Commerce members Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), who had introduced the bill to the House of Representatives last month were joined by Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Ranking Member Bob Latta (R-OH) to release the following statement, “Today, the House of Representatives voted to restore Americans’ confidence in the telephone system and put consumers back in charge of their phones. We’re proud of the strong support our bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act received this afternoon and look forward to working with our colleagues in the Senate to produce a bill that the President can sign into law. The American people are counting on us to help end the robocall epidemic, and we will deliver for them.”