WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With consumers nationwide receiving tens of billions of robocalls each year, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are considering legislation aimed at tackling the spam call problem.
- House lawmakers last month in passed the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act
- It requires phone companies to adopt new technology, allowing them to authenticate calls
- It also makes sure that carriers offer robocall blocking services do so without charging an extra fee to consumers
Both the House and the Senate have each passed their own bills that look to combat robocalls.
“These robocalls are the worst,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th District. “There are scammers out there who will call your number from a number that looks like somebody you know – they’ve localized the numbers.”
Foxx joined with an overwhelming majority of her fellow House lawmakers last month in passing the “Stopping Bad Robocalls Act.”
The bill requires phone companies to adopt new technology allowing them to authenticate calls, making sure they are not spoofed numbers. It also makes sure that carriers offer robocall blocking services do so without charging an extra fee to consumers, according to a summary of the legislation provided by House Democrats.
Maureen Mahoney, a policy analyst with Consumer Reports, calls the House bill an important step.
“Consumers already pay so much for their phone service,” she said. "They shouldn’t have to pay more to stop robocalls."
The bill also works to improve enforcement, giving the federal government more time and tools to go after those making the spam calls.
Earlier this year, the Senate passed its own robocalls legislation called the TRACED Act. While the bill is similar the the House legislation, some consumer advocates have suggested it does not go far enough.
One of the lead sponsors of that Senate legislation tweeted that he looks forward to working with his House colleagues to finalize a bill that they can send to the president.