WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation cosponsored by U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla. that will protect consumers by seeking to end unwanted robocalls. The Murphy-sponsored Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, H.R. 3375, would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enact strong consumer protections and give it strong enforcement powers to combat robocalls. Last year, Americans received nearly 48 billion robocalls, almost 65 percent more than in 2016. Nearly half of the calls that Americans receive are robocalls, many trying to scam people out of their hard-earned money. Floridians have received over 2.2 billion robocalls so far this year alone. Orlando is among the most targeted, having received nearly 350 million robocalls.
“Robocalls are more than a nuisance. They pose a direct threat to consumers, and the American people have had enough with these scams,” said Murphy. “I’m proud to have helped pass this bill in the House, a great first step to protect Americans from robocall harassment.”
The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act would combat robocalls by:
- Requiring carriers (like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) to adopt caller ID authentication technology to help consumers distinguish if a call is coming from a real caller;
- Requiring carriers to implement call-blocking technology without an additional charge to consumers;
- Allowing consumers to revoke consent they had previously given to receive calls at any time and in any reasonable manner;
- Ensuring the FCC has the authority and the tools to take strong, quick action when it tracks down robocallers, including by extending the statute of limitations from one year to three, and in some instances four, years for callers violating robocall prohibitions; and
- Mandating the FCC to submit a report to Congress on the implementation of its reassigned numbers database to make sure the Commission is effectively protecting consumers from unwanted calls.
For the full text of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, click here.
Murphy spoke on the House floor in support of the legislation. Video of her speech can be found here and a transcript of her remarks is below.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Congress has a terrible reputation for being too partisan. But there is one issue that has strong bipartisan agreement in this Congress and in this country—that fraudulent robocalls must be stopped.
I hear these concerns from my constituents in central Florida on a regular basis. It is one of the top issues that constituents routinely write to my office about.
Americans received over 48 billion robocalls last year. Nearly half of the calls that Americans receive are robocalls, many trying to scam people out of their hard-earned money.
Floridians have received over 2.2 billion robocalls so far this year alone. My hometown of Orlando is among the most targeted cities in the country, having received nearly 350 million robocalls.
Robocalls are more than a nuisance. They pose a direct threat to consumers.
Often disguised using fake caller IDs—like hospitals and government agencies—robocallers attempt to trick people into providing personal information, especially our seniors.
The American people have had enough, and they are demanding swift action from this body.
I’m proud to help introduce this bill, which is a great first step to protect Americans from robocall harassment. I urge my colleagues to support it.
Thank you and I yield back the balance of my time.