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House, Senate Reach Agreement on Anti-Robocall Bill

— November 20, 2019

In an announcement last week, the House and Senate finally agreed on a bill to put an end to robocalls.

Last week, lawmakers in the House and Senate announced an agreement on a bill to help fight against the annoying issue of robocalls in the United States. Some lawmakers even expressed “optimism that the negotiated legislation can be signed into law by the President.” What would the anti-robocall bill achieve, though? Well, according to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a top member of the Senate Commerce Committee, the bill “would allow telephone carriers to block robocalls — spam calls often aimed at stealing personal information from vulnerable populations — in a consistent and transparent way without charging consumers any extra money.

Landline Call Blocker
Landline Call Blocker; image courtesy of
Hixx via Wikimedia Commons,

The bill is sure to be welcomed among Americans across the country, especially given the fact that robocalls have been increasing in volume over recent years. As part of the proposed bill, telephone carriers would be required “to verify calls and offer tools for their customers to block spammy calls.” Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission will be given “more time to investigate and punish illegal robocallers.

When commenting on the recent announcement that the House and Senate finally reached an agreement with the bill, lawmakers issued the following statement:

Today, we are proud to announce that we have come to an agreement in principle on legislation, the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, to combat the robocall epidemic that we believe can be signed into law by the President. It’s time to put Americans back in charge of their phones.”

The statement was signed by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore). and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), among others. They said, “Our agreement will require telephone carriers to verify calls and allow robocalls to be blocked in a consistent and transparent way, all at no extra charge to consumers. The agreement also gives the FCC and law enforcement the ability to quickly go after scammers.”

This isn’t the first time anti-robocall legislation has been proposed in Congress. In previous years, whenever similar legislation was proposed, it stalled. Fortunately, the recent bill is expected to be finalized in the coming days, and will hopefully put a stop to the endless robocalls that irritate so many Americans today. In fact, it’s estimated that in 2018, there were more than 48 billions robocalls. That’s 50% more robocalls than were made in 2017. That’s how fast the volume of robocalls are increasing in the U.S. Because of that, it is expected that part of the final bill will “allow for tougher penalties against the scammers who generate billions of unwanted calls each year.”


House, Senate announce agreement on anti-robocall bill

The House and Senate finally agree on something: Robocalls

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