House Subcommittee Approves Bipartisan Robocall Bill
With nary a dissenting voice, the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology this afternoon approved and sent to the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce an amended Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, H.R. 3375.
The Subcommittee adopted four bipartisan amendments, all on voice vote.
The Locking Up Robocallers Act, H.R. 3225, which TCPAWorld previously reported on, originally introduced by Congressman Donald McEachin (D-VA) was added to the bill.
The Tracing Back and Catching Unlawful Robocallers Act, H.R. 3434, introduced only yesterday by Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) was added to the bill. It would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to publish an annual report on the telecommunication industry’s efforts to trace suspected illegal robocalls to their origins and provide a list of voice service providers who are not sufficiently participating in efforts to stop illegal calls.
The Subcommittee adopted an amendment offered by Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and supported by Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) and others, addressing one-ring robocalls, presumably modeled on the Ending One-Ring Scams Act of 2019, H.R. 3264.
Finally, the Spam Calls Task Force Act of 2019, H.R. 721, originally sponsored by Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL), was added to the bill. That bill calls for the Attorney General to convene an interagency working group to study enforcement of Section 227(b) of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The only other amendment discussed was offered and then withdrawn by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA). It would have added her Help Americans Never Get Unwanted Phone Calls (HANGUP) Act, H.R. 1421, to the bill, that would repeal the debt collection exemption added to the TCPA in 2015.
With that, Subcommittee Chairman Michael Doyle (D-PA) sought and obtained a unanimous voice vote to move the amended bill on to the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce for any potential further markup. That meeting seems unlikely to occur until after the coming Fourth of July recess. TCPAWorld will, of course, report and cover this next step toward robocall legislation in 2019.