Tester’s Bill to Silence Robocalls Clears Senate, Bound for President’s Desk

Tester’s Bill to Silence Robocalls Clears Senate, Bound for President’s Desk

U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s bill to curb harassing robocalls unanimously passed the Senate today and heads to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

Tester’s TRACED Act will cut down on unwanted calls by requiring phone companies to authenticate incoming calls, and requiring them to allow consumers to block illegitimate ones at no extra cost. It also directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make a plan for blocking calls that can’t be authenticated, and boosts the FCC’s enforcement powers to crack down on violators.

“Robocalls are a nuisance that has become the new normal for most Americans – and we’ve got to stop them,” Tester said. “Today is a huge step forward to do that-passing the TRACED Act will cut down on these unwanted calls, protect our personal information from scammers, and give us the tools to prosecute violators, so we can give these abusive robocallers the boot.”

The TRACED Act also extends the timeframe the FCC can catch and punish robocallers, and directs the U.S. Department of Justice to establish a working group charged with making recommendations to Congress on how to improve deterrence and criminal prosecution of robocall scams at the federal and state levels. The TRACED Act cleared the U.S. House of Representatives last week by a margin of 417-3.

More than 26 billion robocalls were placed in the U.S. alone in 2018.

As Montana’s only member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Tester has taken the lead on stopping the scourge of robocalls. In addition to the TRACED Act, Tester helped introduce the Robocall Enforcement Enhancement Act last Congress and pushed the FCC to take action against a Miami man accused of making nearly 100 million robocalls in less than three months last year.

Watch Tester discuss unwanted robocalls HERE.