GOP Rep. Introduces Bill to Outlaw All Robocalls

Ever receive a call on your cell phone, see an unrecognized number, and nervously calculate whether or not you should even answer it? More times than not, you probably choose to ignore it as these calls are often automated systems pitching a sale, timeshare, or soliciting other unwanted material.

Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin is looking to stop these altogether.

On Monday, the New York Republican pitched legislation which would effectively stop these “unwanted and unlawful robocalls” from occurring.

“Once simply a nuisance, have now hijacked consumers’ cell phones and undermined our entire phone system,” Zeldin said via his congressional website. “With Americans receiving tens of billions of robocalls a year, it’s no surprise that many Long Islanders have chosen to ignore many incoming callers, causing them to miss important phone calls about their health, their children and more.”

“Consumers should be able to block unwanted and illegal calls and answer their cell phones without fear of being targeted for a scam,” he continued.

Speaking of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (H.R. 3375), Zeldin said the “bipartisan and comprehensive legislation is the next step in ending this continuous onslaught of robocalls.”

Here’s more on the effort, from Zeldin’s website:

The bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act:

  • Requires that phone carriers implement call authentication technology so consumers can trust their caller ID again, with no additional line-item for consumers, and includes a process to help rural carriers implement this technology.

  • Allows carriers to offer call blocking services to consumers, with no additional line-item charge, with important transparency safeguards to make sure important calls aren’t inadvertently blocked.

  • Directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to issue rules to protect consumers from calls they didn’t agree to receive and to ensure consumers can withdraw consent.

  • Requires the FCC to enact safeguards so companies can’t abuse robocall exemptions.

  • Ensures the FCC has the authority and 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.

  • Mandates 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.