WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, voted to pass H.R. 3375, the bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, to bring much needed relief to Americans threatened by abusive robocall practices. Last year, an estimated 47.8 billion robocalls were placed nationwide, an increase of 17 billion calls over the previous year, representing a rising risk to the American people as robocallers intensify their scams to defraud consumers, disrupt our health care system and more.
“We all get bombarded every day with annoying robocalls and scam calls. Many are outright frauds looking to extract personal information or trick people into giving up their hard-earned money, said McGovern. “I am proud to vote yes on this important bipartisan bill to strengthen consumer protections and end the scourge of robocalls, all without costing American families a single additional penny. Congress has a responsibility to hold scammers responsible and protect the American people from this abuse.”
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-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 as many as four years for callers violating robocall prohibitions; and
Mandates the FCC 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.