House Passes Courtney-Backed Bipartisan Bill to End Robocalls
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Representative Joe Courtney (CT-02) voted to pass the bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (H.R. 3375), a bill to curb the soaring number of fraudulent and abusive robocalls dialed each day to cell phones and landlines in eastern Connecticut and across the country. Last year, an estimated 47.8 billion robocalls were placed in the U.S., an increase of 17 billion from the previous year. Consumers lose over $350 million dollars to phone scams each year, and illegal robocalls are affecting Americans in increasingly harmful ways—from more elaborate scams to defraud consumers, to disrupting our health care system, and more. The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act cleared the House by a vote of 429-3.
“Everyone with a phone in eastern Connecticut knows that there’s been an uptick in robocalls in recent months and years,” said Congressman Courtney. “Robocalls are disruptive to people’s lives, and they’re often malicious, going after the finances, health care information, or privacy of the receiver. For the thousands of folks in our region who have been victimized by robocalls, including my own family, it’s time to take serios action to protect consumers against this deceptive practice. By offering people an effective way to filter these calls, our bill would help protect the welfare and privacy of thousands here in eastern Connecticut. It also puts pressure on the FCC to enact stronger consumer protections and fight back against and punish fraudulent robocallers. I’m a proud co-sponsor of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, and was glad to join my colleagues in voting to pass the bill in the House. Once again, it’s the Senate’s turn to step up and finish the job.”
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 charge, on an opt-out basis with 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 three, and in some instances four, years for callers violating robocall prohibitions.
- Mandates the FCC to 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.