Pallone Highlights Progress of His Bipartisan Legislation to Address Robocall Scams
South Amboy, N.J. – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today highlighted progress on his bipartisan legislation to address the dangers of robocalls. He was joined by business and consumer advocate leaders at a technology firm that works to stop robocalls. In 2018, Americans received an estimated 47.8 billion robocalls. Last May, consumers received an estimated 20 million robocalls in the 732 area code alone.
“I hear from many of my constituents who are sick and tired of receiving annoying and illegal robocalls. Many of these robocalls are often predatory as scammers try to disguise themselves as the IRS or local governments. It’s time to take our phones back,” Pallone said. “My bipartisan bill provides common-sense and meaningful solutions that will put consumers back in control of their phone and give them more help in controlling the unwanted calls they consistently receive. I would like to thank our business community and consumer advocates for their help in the fight to combat these often-predatory and irritating interruptions to our day.”
Pallone, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, recently announced a bipartisan deal on his bill, H.R. 3375, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act. Two weeks ago, the legislation was reported out of the Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee.
The bill would empower the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with strong enforcement tools to reign in robocallers and ensures the FCC can take quick action when it tracks down robocallers, including extending the statute of limitations from one year to three. The legislation requires that phone carriers implement call authentication technology so that consumers can trust their caller ID. It allows carriers to offer call blocking services to consumers with no additional line charge, directs the FCC to protect consumers from calls they do not agree to receive, ensures consumers can withdraw consent, and requires the FCC to enact safeguards so companies cannot abuse robocall exemption. Pallone’s bill has the support of numerous consumer groups including the National Consumer Law Center, Consumer Reports, and the AARP.
“We wholeheartedly support Congressman Pallone’s efforts to fight robocalls. We also want to thank Senator Thune for moving legislation through the Senate to address this issue. RoboKiller’s cutting edge technology blocks millions of unwanted spam calls every day for consumers. Our technology, combined with new legislation, will give consumers the ability to stop these annoying spam calls that interrupt our lives, and in some cases actually harm vulnerable Americans,” said Tim Allen, CEO of Mosaic Group, which owns Robokiller.
“New Jersey Citizen Action thanks Congressman Pallone for introducing legislation to modernize FTC regulations with a commonsense response to overwhelming and unstoppable invasions into our lives. This bill gives the public the tools we need to stop unwanted and, in many cases, illegal and harassing robocalls, which too often prevent us from receiving important personal calls and essential calls we need to manage our personal business,” said Beverly Brown Ruggia, Financial Justice Organizer for New Jersey Citizen Action.
“New AARP research shows consumers are barraged by illegal and unwanted robocalls. On behalf of our 1.3 million AARP members in New Jersey, we would like to thank Congressman Pallone for your bipartisan leadership on the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act H.R. 3375, that will help protect seniors and all Americans from fraud. We applaud your commitment to this critical legislation that will finally crack down on fraudulent robocalls that have plagued older Americans for years,” said Crystal McDonald, AARP NJ Associate State Director for Advocacy.
“The robocall problem has exploded over the past decade. Consumers are inundated with irritating and harmful messages around the clock. Many of these robocalls come from unscrupulous telemarketers who are breaking the law and pressuring people to buy products they don’t want or need,” said Chuck Bell, Programs Director for the Advocacy Division of Consumer Reports. “We thank Chairman Pallone for his leadership on the bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act. This bill will provide consumers with much-needed protections in the fight against robocalls. The bill will not only require phone companies to adopt effective technologies to help stop scam calls -- it will help put strong rules in place to give people more control over ‘legitimate’ calls as well.”