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Robocall Bills On To-Do List As Congress Returns From Recess

Congress resumes from its summer recess today, and with only a few months left before the end of the year, it is likely that there is a “significant” chance that there will be an anti-robocall bill for the president to sign, according to one published report.

As well, the House Financial Services Committee is still scheduled to host a hearing on “Examining Legislation to Protect Consumers and Small Business Owners from Abusive Debt Collection Practices” in two weeks.

Both the Senate and House of Representatives have passed anti-robocall measures. In the Senate, the TRACED Act passed earlier this year by a vote of 97-1, while in the House, it was the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act that made it to the finish line. It is expected that both bills will be aggregated into one, with the details being worked out behind closed doors.

Congress has a number of priorities on its plate for the Fall session, but lobbyists expect robocalls to receive enough attention and not fall off the legislative radar screen.

Consumer advocates feel that the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act offers consumers more protection than the TRACED Act does, but there are provisions in both bills that they want to see become law.

“The Senate bill provided an important step in protecting us from spoofed calls with fake caller IDs, but the House bill takes the fight to the next level by requiring rules that will actually stop the abusive and unwanted robocalls from being made in the first place,” wrote Margot Saunders of the National Consumer Law Center, recently. “To preserve the value of the national telephone system, we need the provisions of both bills signed into law.”

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