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Pallone-Thune TRACED Act Passes Senate, Awaits President’s Signature

Official portraits of Congressman Frank Pallone and Senator John Thune

Fri, 12/20/2019 - 10:36

The Senate passed the Pallune-Thune TRACED Act by voice vote on Thursday. It has previously passed the House of Representatives by a count of 417-3. President Trump is expected to sign it into law soon.

The act—whose name is an acronym for Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence—is sponsored by South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune and New Jersey Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone.

The law requires telephone carriers to implement no-cost call-authentication and robocall technology. It also includes a number of provisions specifically geared toward Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enforcement, including:

  • A requirement to enact rulemaking to prevent consumers from receiving unwanted calls or texts from unauthenticated numbers
  • An extension of the statute of limitations from one year to four years for FCC enforcement of illegal robocall violations
  • An authorization of FCC penalties of up to $10,000 per call for violations
  • A requirement for the FCC to provide an annual report to Congress on the enforcement of robocall regulations
  • A requirement to convene an interagency task force with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Justice, Department of Commerce, State Department, Department of Homeland Security, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and state attorneys general to study government prosecution of robocall violations

The bill is a rare piece of legislation with widespread, bipartisan support. Once it is signed into law, it will constitute a new, major element of nationwide telemarketing regulations.