May 23, 2019

Manchin Applauds The Passage Of The Bipartisan Traced Act Limiting Spam And Robocalls

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), applauded the passage of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which he originally co-sponsored. The bipartisan bill will address the increasing number of spam and robocalls that individuals receive, as well as, put measures in place to deter spam and robocall numbers from increasing. A study conducted by First Orion projected that in 2019, 44.6% of calls to mobile phones will be spam. 

The TRACED Act was approved by the Senate by a vote of 97-1 and has the support of all five FCC Commissioners and all five FTC Commissioners. 

“Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, we as Americans can all agree on one thing, Spam and robocalls are just absolutely awful. I am glad that my colleagues have come together to pass legislation to give FCC and other federal agencies the resources they need to finally reduce calls like these, which have increased year after year,” said Senator Manchin. “This bill will also put in stricter regulations and harsher penalties for telemarketers and scammers that harass people. I am proud to have cosponsored this commonsense, bipartisan bill.”

The TRACED Act will:

    • Broaden the authority of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to levy civil penalties of up to $10,000 per call on people who intentionally ignore telemarketing restrictions.
    • Extend the window for the FCC to catch and take civil enforcement action against intentional violations to three years after a robocall is placed. Under current law, the FCC has only one year to do so, and the FCC has told the committee that “even a one-year longer statute of limitations for enforcement” would improve enforcement against willful violators.
    • Bring 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 identify and report to Congress on improving deterrence and criminal prosecution at the federal and state level of robocall scams.
    • Require voice service providers to adopt call authentication technologies, enabling a telephone carrier to verify that incoming calls are legitimate before they reach consumers’ phones.
    • Direct the FCC to initiate a rulemaking to help protect subscribers from receiving unwanted calls or texts from callers.