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Engel Statement on House Passage of Anti-Robocall Legislation

Engel Statement on House Passage of Anti-Robocall Legislation

 

Congressman Eliot L. Engel released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act yesterday: 

 

“In these hyper-partisan times there is one thing everyone seems to agree on: robocalls are a terrible nuisance. The TRACED Act is designed to combat unwanted robocalls that pester Americans every day and expose the most vulnerable among us to schemes, scams, and deceptions. If we can get this bill through the Senate and signed into law, this legislation will put a serious dent in the robocall problem as we know it. I am hopeful the Senate will take this up quickly, and once its passed we should turn our focus to some of the other bills aimed at ending abusive phone practices, like my Anti-Swatting Act.”

 

BACKGROUND:

 

The TRACED Act:

  • Requires carriers to offer call-authentication technology to consumers and small businesses—in rural and urban America—at no additional charge;
  • Requires opt-in or opt-out robocall blocking be offered at no additional charge to consumers;
  • Gives the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the ability to step up enforcement actions against unlawful robocalls with a longer statute of limitations and increased fines in certain cases;
  • Pushes the Department of Justice to bring more criminal prosecutions against criminal robocallers;
  • Requires the FCC to work to stop one-ring scams;
  • Helps the FCC and responsible carriers traceback and cutoff suspect phone companies that are responsible for sending vast numbers of unlawful robocalls; and
  • Protects patients, doctors and hospitals from unlawful robocalls.

 

Americans reportedly received an astounding 48 billion robocalls last year, and this number is expected to increase to as high as 75 billion this year. Robocalls are one of the most complained-about issues in the United States. The FCC receives roughly 200,000 complaints each year about robocalls.

 

Engel has worked for years to stop abusive phone practices. He has introduced legislation to combat swatting—the act of falsifying caller ID information to mislead law enforcement—and is an original cosponsor of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (H.R. 946), the Repeated Objectionable Bothering of Consumers on Phones (ROBOCOP) Act (H.R. 2298), and is a cosponsor of the Regulatory Oversight Barring Obnoxious (ROBO) Calls and Texts Act (H.R. 2355). Engel is a top member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

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