Menendez Applauds Final Passage of Robocall Crackdown Bill

Menendez Applauds Final Passage of Robocall Crackdown Bill

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez applauded Senate passage today of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act that cracks down on illegal, unwanted robocalls. The bill now heads to the President for his signature. Sen. Menendez co-sponsored the original TRACED Act, passed by the Senate in May. In July, the House of Representatives passed New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone’s Stopping Bad Robocalls Act. The TRACED Act passed today reconciles the differences between those two bills.

“This is great news for anyone, like me, who has been bombarded and had their lives constantly disrupted by annoying, obnoxious and illegal robocalls.  These phone scammers are so pervasive that it’s one of the top issues constituents contact my office about,” said Sen. Menendez.  “It’s about time our laws catch up with the technology of today and offer real protections for American consumers.  The TRACED Act closes gaping holes in our telemarketing laws, fosters assistance from the telecom industry to develop and deploy call-blocking technologies to stay one step ahead, and gives law enforcement the authority to track down and hold scammers accountable.”  

The TRACED Act:

·       Requires carriers to offer call-authentication technology to everyone 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. 

Sen. Menendez blasted Senate Republicans last week when they were blocking the passage of the bill despite broad support. In April, Sen. Menendez received a robocall while holding a press conference urging Congress to pass the TRACED Act.

Sen. Menendez has been a leader in Congress in fighting to crackdown on unwanted phone calls. Last April and June, he separately called on the FCC to establish protections for consumers from unwanted and harassing robocalls and robotexts. The Senator repeatedly pressed the FCC in 2017 to take aggressive action to increase robocall enforcementprotect consumers from invasive “ringless” voicemails, and end the harassing phone calls.  In 2015, Sen. Menendez cosponsored the Help Americans Never Get Unwanted Phone calls (HANGUP) Act and urged Pay-Pal to change its user agreement that forces consumers to accept unwanted phone calls.

 

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