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Tonko Votes to End Robocalls and Abusive Telephone Scams

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Washington, July 25, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) voted late yesterday to pass H.R. 3375, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, a bill he cosponsors that would bring much needed relief to Americans who are sick and tired of dealing with abusive robocalls. This bipartisan legislation passed by a vote of 429-3 and will now head to the Senate.

“The epidemic of spam robocalls has become a serious problem for families throughout the Capital Region and across the country,” noted Tonko. “This bipartisan legislation strengthens consumer protections and will go a long way toward ending these unwanted and potentially threatening robocalls, all without costing American families a single penny. I am grateful to my colleagues for working together to hold scammers responsible and protect the American people from this pervasive and growing nuisance.”

In 2018, an estimated 47.8 billion robocalls were placed nationwide, increasing by 17 billion from the previous year. The large spike in calls created a much higher risk for scams that defraud consumers.

H.R. 3375, Stopping Bad Robocalls Act:

  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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

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