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Congress Proposes TCPA Bill That Would Change ATDS Definition

The US Capitol building shown at dusk, with the building's reflection apparent in a reflecting pool

A group of seven Democratic members of the House of Representatives recently introduced a new bill to amend the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The bill is titled the Robotext Scam Prevention Act. Its provisions include:

  • Changing the definition of automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) such that it no longer includes the key phrase “using a random or sequential number generator”
  • Expressly regulating text messages as well as voice calls
  • Creating a safe harbor for calls made to reassigned numbers for callers that use the reassigned number database

While the latter two provisions essentially codify existing standards created by court precedent and FCC rulemaking, the changes to the ATDS definition could prove incredibly significant for future TCPA litigation.

The ultimate fate of this legislation remains uncertain. Over the last decade, the percentage of congressional legislation that becomes enacted into law during a given Congress has varied between 3% and 8%. But we will continue to monitor this bill and any progress it may make toward becoming law.