Sen. Mike Crapo [R-Idaho] and Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D-Minn.] are taking another stab at their anti-robocall bill, seeking to give voice service providers the power to create their own whitelists of phone numbers that are not eligible to be blocked and to empower the Federal Communications Commission to create a report analyzing the effectiveness of call blocking tools.
S.357, The Data Analytics Robocall Technology Act of 2021, or DART Act, is a copy of similar legislation that the two Senators introduced during the most recent Congressional session. It was approved by the Senate, but did not pass in the House of Representatives.
Calls that would not be eligible to be blocked would include:
- Outgoing calls by a public safety answering point making or routing emergency calls
- Calls during an emergency that originate from a government agency
- Calls made by a school or similar institution to provide notifications for weather-related closures or other emergencies
- Other reasons, determined by the FCC, to be considered appropriate
“We all have too much happening in our daily lives to put up with illegal robocalls,” Sen. Crapo said in a statement. “I am encouraged this problem got broad, bipartisan attention last Congress and look forward to the implementation of sound policy this Congress to help end this invasive drain on time and resources.”
The FCC would also be tasked with developing a report to be submitted to Congress that analyzes the effectiveness of different call blocking tools and make legislative recommendations.
“Most robocalls aren’t just unwanted and disruptive – they’re illegal,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “The DART Act will help the FCC protect consumers from robocalls while also ensuring they continue to receive public safety calls.”
The bill has been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee for its consideration.