Less than a week after it was voted out of committee, the full House of Representatives is expected to debate and vote on the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, according to a published report from ACA International.
The bill — H.R. 3375 — is being labeled as “the most substantial” Telephone Consumer Protection Act legislation since the TCPA was enacted in 1991. Should it pass in the House, it would move to the Senate for consideration. That would mean that two separate bills had each passed in one chamber. In May, the Senate passed the TRACED Act.
To date, the bill has been unanimously passed in both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
Among the provisions of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act are:
- Requiring the Federal Communications Commission to develop a rule that defines an automatic telephone dialing systems and calls made using an artificial or prerecorded voice
- Establishing a four-year statute of limitations for the FCC or other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute alleged offenders of the law
- Requiring carriers, within six months of the law’s enactment, to develop and deploy effective call authentication technology
- Requiring carriers to offer call-blocking services that gives consumers the opportunity to opt-out of the program, should they so choose
- 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.
Rep. Frank Pallone [D-N.J.], originally introduced the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act in February, his second shot at getting the bill to become law. The bill went nowhere until it was retooled and re-introduced in June, now with the support of Rep. Greg Walden [R-Ore.], the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, alongside Rep. Pallone, the committee’s chairman. Since then, the bill has moved quickly through the House. One of the key components of the original bill that was removed when it was retooled was a definition for what constitutes and automated telephone dialing system.