I’m writing to you today about robocalls – an issue that I constantly hear about from folks across our district – and a bill that was recently signed into law to help confront this annoying, and often malicious, problem. This is very good news and means that we will have more tools to fight robocalls.
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The recent surge in robocalls is a serious issue. In 2018 alone, Americans received an estimated 47.8 billion robocalls, according to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Personally, I can get up to ten robocalls per week and it drives me crazy. Robocalls are not only an inconvenience, but too often are the first step in a fraudulent scheme meant to trick our most vulnerable populations – including veterans and the elderly – into revealing personal information. In fact, according to a TrueCaller 2019 report, Americans lost an estimated $10.5 billion last year due to robocall scams. This is unacceptable.
That is why I was so proud to co-sponsor the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (H.R. 3375). This bill would provide a clear definition of a robocall and empower the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enforce regulations on them. Additionally, this legislation would allow consumers to revoke consent to receive calls, require calls to have verified caller identification, and make it easier for the FCC to prosecute violators. Finally, the bill would enable phone carriers to offer robocall blocking services to consumers.
The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act is a critical step in addressing the issue of robocalls and I was so pleased to see it adopted into a larger robocalls package (The TRACED Act, S. 151) that passed the U.S. House of Representatives on December 4, 2019. The bill was signed into law by the President on December 30, 2019, and folks can expect to see provisions of the bill beginning to take effect within a year.
If you want to learn more about my work in the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit my website, where you can sign up for my e-newsletter. You can find regular updates on my social media pages by “following” me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, which you can do by clicking on the icons below. Lastly, please feel free to reach out to either my Lansing, Michigan or Washington, D.C. office to ask any questions, further express an opinion, or seek assistance with a federal agency. My office is here to help.
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