WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today issued the following statement after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the bipartisan Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act. The bill will now be sent to the president’s desk to be signed into law:
“Unwelcome robocalls are a plague on every American household, and the epidemic is only getting worse as scammers continue to hijack our networks,” said Wicker. “Our committee has been working on this important issue all year long, and I am pleased that consumers, regulators, and law enforcement will soon have the tools needed to fight back.”
Summary of the TRACED Act:
- Broadens the authority of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to levy civil penalties of up to $10,000 per call on people who intentionally flout telemarketing restrictions.
- Extends to four years after a robocall is placed the window for the FCC to catch and take civil enforcement action against intentional violations.
- Brings together the Department of Justice, FCC, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Commerce, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other relevant federal agencies, as well as state attorneys general and other non-federal entities, to report to Congress on improving deterrence and criminal prosecution of robocall scams at the federal and state level.
- Requires voice service providers to adopt call authentication technologies, enabling a telephone carrier to verify that incoming calls are legitimate before they reach consumers’ phones.
- Directs the FCC to initiate a rulemaking to help protect consumers from receiving unwanted calls or texts.
Click here to read the bill.
The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the FCC, FTC and Department of Commerce.