House Passes Gianforte’s Bipartisan Illegal Robocall Bill
The House passed Gianforte’s bipartisan bill to stop illegal robocalls on a vote of 417-3. The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, or Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, aims to prevent illegal robocalls and tightens enforcement on existing telecommunication laws.
Gianforte spoke before the House in order to demonstrate his support of the TRACED Act. In his speech, Gianforte highlighted the risk posed to Montanans by illegal robocall scammers.
“Robocalls are not only a nuisance; they are a threat to honest, hard-working Montanans. Illegal robocalls seek to exploit them and steal their private, personal information, and their money. Montanans hate robocalls.”
Robocalls do not just threaten Montanans. According to a Hiya Robocall Radar Report, Americans nationwide received 26.3 billion robocalls in 2018, a 46% increase from 2017. To combat these robocalls, the TRACED Act provides consumers the ability to block illegal robocalls and increases penalties for criminal robocall violations.
“Today we’re taking a huge step forward, providing relief with the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act,” said Gianforte. “It gives consumers tools to block illegal robocalls at no cost. It also holds illegal robocallers accountable for their scams, including higher fines and more prison time. This bill includes language from my bipartisan bill [the Tracing Back and Catching Unlawful Robocalls Act] that helps identify and prosecute illegal robocall companies.”
The act also requires carriers to offer call-authentication technology and mandates that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) track and report on anti-robocalling efforts in the telecommunications industry. Gianforte’s bipartisan bill, the Tracing Back and Catching Unlawful Robocalls Act, first outlined many of the requirements for the FCC that are now included in the TRACED Act.
Gianforte has been involved in anti-robocalling efforts for months. In May, he pressed Federal Trade Commission and FCC officials on the steps being taken to prevent illegal robocalls. Gianforte also recounted a story of a Bozeman woman who received a scammer robocall from her brother’s phone number. The woman was shaken, as her brother had passed a few months prior. Gianforte shared this story with lawmakers to depict the impact that illegal robocalls can have.
In July of 2019, the House passed the bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, which also included Gianforte’s Tracing Back and Catching Unlawful Robocalls Act.