The US House of Representatives has approved an anti-robocall bill by a nearly unanimous vote of 413-3. The bill will require phone carriers to block robocalls as well as giving the government more power to punish scammers.
It will next make it to the Senate. Its bipartisan support means it has a good chance of being signed into law by the end of 2019.
The Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, a.k.a. TRACE Act is named after its sponsors. These are Representative Frank Pallone Jr. and Senator John Thune.
“Today the House will take strong bipartisan action to protect consumers from illegal robocalls,” Pallone said on the House floor Wednesday.
In November alone, there were 5.6 billion robocalls made in the US. Many of these phone calls aim to steal personal information. A popular target is also hospitals, where spam calls can interfere with treatment.
The three Representatives who voted against the bill are Justin Amash (I-Mich.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky). Massie said that passing the bill will risk giving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “too much authority”.
Anti-robocall bill will help consumers
The TRACED Act anti-robocall bill will also seek to expand the meaning of a robocall. This will make it easier for the FCC to crack down on unwanted calls received by users.
Companies including AT&T, Verizon and Comcast have already agreed that they will put call-blocking technology in place at no extra cost to their customers. The initiative has widespread support. Unsolicited, automated, prerecorded phone calls have become the most frequent complaint the FCC receives from citizens. In the past, the government has solicited help from companies like Apple in solving the problem.
What steps would you like to see taken to eliminate robocalls? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: The Hill