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Senate Overwhelmingly Approves TRACED Act

Senate Overwhelmingly Approves TRACED Act

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 12:58

On Thursday May 23rd, 2019, the Senate approved the TRACED Act which will dramatically increase fines for illegal robocalls. The bill passed with an overwhelming 97-1 vote. Only a single vote from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was against the legislation. The TRACED Act’s next stop is the House of Representatives. If approved, expect an increase in the statute of limitations for filing TCPA lawsuits, and the creation of a new inter-agency task force.

“This piece of legislation will help all Americans deal with the epidemic of robocalls which afflicts them and their families every single day of the year," says Senator Ed Markey.

The TRACED Act is yet another in a long line of recent bills targeting illegal robocalls. In fact, during the last Congress three hearings were held that resulted in the passage of 13 bills aimed at stopping illegal robocalls.

According to the FCC, robocalls have accounted for 60% of the consumer complaints they receive each year. When you consider that an estimated 48 billion robocalls were placed last year in the United States, you can understand the anger of consumers/voters and why bills like the TRACED Act are drawing so much bipartisan congressional attention.

“The TRACED Act [will] help strengthen the FCC’s ability to combat illegal robocalls, and we would welcome these additional tools to fight this scourge,” says FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

Because the TRACED Act is a bipartisan bill it is likely to pass in the House of Representatives, though at this time no date has been set for the vote. Support for the bill includes the backing of all 50 state attorneys general, the FCC, FTC, in additional to several industry associations and consumer groups. The war against robocalls is one of the few battles with fervent support from both political parties. Expect a vote in the House to come soon and more legislation to follow as Congress pushes to end or block illegal robocalls.

Related article What is the TRACED Act?