While one of the key prongs of the TRACED Act is stiffening the penalties that can be levied against individuals charged with making illegal robocalls, it is unlikely that any revenue generated by the fines would be significant, “because it would probably be difficult to collect assessed penalties,” according to a report released yesterday by the Congressional Budget Office.
The report comes as lobbyists are ramping up their efforts to get the bill passed in the Senate, which could happen before the chamber recesses for vacation in August, according to a published report.
The TRACED Act, as introduced, would stiffen the fines allowed to be levied against perpetrators of illegal robocalls, give the Federal Communications Commission more time to investigate and take enforcement actions, require carriers to adopt call authentication technology, and direct the FCC to issue a rule protecting individuals from receiving unwanted calls or text messages.
Implementing the bill will cost the FCC about $1 million between 2019 and 2024 if it is passed and becomes law, according to the report. That expense would likely be offset by recovered fines, but to expect the bill to actually generate additional revenue for the FCC would be unlikely.
Meanwhile, lobbyists are “pulling out all the stops to push the bill through,” with 27 different groups and 162 lobbyists registered to advocate their positions on the bill. ACA International is one of the groups cited in the report lobbying in favor of the bill, according to the report.
Lawmakers are hearing from their constituents about robocalls more than any other issue, according to one lobbyist who was not named in the report.
One area where lobbyists are most concerned is making sure the bill does “not have a negative effect on legitimate calls,” such as those made by collectors to individuals with unpaid debts.