Senators introduce bill to crack down on certain robocalls

Senators introduce bill to crack down on certain robocalls
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Sens. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyNet neutrality supporters predict tough court battle over FCC's repeal plan Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Driverless car bill hits Senate speed bump MORE (D-Mass.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSupreme Court takes on same-sex wedding cake case House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama Trump really will shrink government, starting with national monuments MORE (R-Utah) introduced a bill on Wednesday aimed at cracking down on robocalls from government contractors.

The bill, dubbed the Help Americans Never Get Unwanted Phone Calls (HANGUP) Act, would remove loopholes that exempt government contractors and federal debt collectors from robocall regulation, the lawmakers said.

“When Congress passed the [Telephone Consumer Protection Act], the goal was clear: consumers should not be subject to unwanted robocalls and robotexts on their phones,” Markey said in a statement.

“But recent carveouts by Congress and the FCC allow government contractors to robocall and robotext consumers without their affirmative express consent," he added, referring to the Federal Communications Commission.

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Lee characterized the legislation as "a check on Congressional entitlement and bureaucratic overreach."

"If independent and private businesses are not allowed to harass consumers with unwanted robocalls and texts, government and government contractors should be held to that same standard," Lee said.

Last year, the FCC exempted government contractors from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which forced robocallers to provide an opt-out option for consumers on call lists.

The 2015 Budget Act also let federal debt collectors bypass certain robocall restrictions.