Suozzi Votes in Support of Bill to End Robocall Epidemic
Last week, Congressman Tom Suozzi (D – Long Island, Queens) voted in support of, and the House passed, H.R. 946, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act. This bipartisan legislation, of which Suozzi was a cosponsor, passed in the House by a vote of 429 – 3 and now moves to the Senate for action.
“Something we can all agree upon, robocalls are annoying and are nearing epidemic proportion. This legislation is designed to stop robocalls and to restore consumers’ confidence in the telephone system by putting them back in charge of their phones,” said Suozzi. “The passage of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act demonstrates how by working together, we can actually help solve real problems in people’s lives.”
Americans received 47.8 billion robocalls last year, nearly half of which were from scammers, according to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report released in February. If passed into law, the bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act will:
• Require 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;
• Allow 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;
• Direct the FCC to issue rules to protect consumers from calls they didn’t agree to receive and to ensure consumers can withdraw consent;
• Require the FCC to enact safeguards so companies can’t abuse robocall exemptions;
• Ensure 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
• Mandate 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.