Hurd Joins Push to Stop Criminal Robocalls

Today, I worked to exponentially lower the blood pressure of South and West Texans by cosponsoring the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act. This bipartisan bill deters criminal, unsolicited robocall scams by giving federal officials more time to find scammers, increasing penalties for those who are caught, and promoting the use of caller authentication to identify and stop robocalls.

'Spoofing' robocall scams do nothing but invade the privacy of South and West Texans and waste folks time. It’s about time we finally put an end to these criminal acts. This bipartisan bill makes great strides hold these bad actors accountable for their actions, and I will continue to do all that I can to keep folks safe.

The TRACED Act was introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. David Kustoff (TN-08), and companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Ed Markley (D-MA) with 68 cosponsors.

The bill takes important steps to stop robocall scams by:

  • Broadening 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;
  • Extending the window for the FCC to catch and take civil enforcement action against intentional violations up to three years after an illegal robocall is placed;
  • Bringing 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;
  • Requiring voice service providers to adopt call authentication technologies, enabling a telephone carrier to verify that incoming calls are legitimate before they reach consumers’ phone; and,
  • Directing the FCC to do more to protect Americans from receiving unwanted calls or texts.
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