Dem senators call on FCC to protect against robocalls

Dem senators call on FCC to protect against robocalls
© Keren Carrion

A group of 15 Democratic senators are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take further action in stopping automated solicitation calls, or robocalls.

“In an era when the onslaught of unwanted and abusive robocalls is on the rise, we are concerned that the absence of these core protections could result in even more invasive calls and texts,” the senators wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

ADVERTISEMENT
Their letter comes after a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last month that struck down portions of the FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protections Act. The regulation restricted robocallers' ability to indiscriminately call millions of consumers.

Lawmakers expressed concern that the decision might harm consumer protections against robocalls and called on the FCC to do its part to restrict them following the D.C. court’s decision.

“Without swift and robust action by the FCC to ensure these sensible protections are in place, consumers may lose the right to both provide and revoke consent, subjecting them to a deluge of unwanted calls and texts,” they wrote.

Politicians' concern around robocalls stems from the fact that many people see the calls, which are usually soliciting business, as a nuisance. In some cases though, the impacts can be worse for vulnerable groups like the elderly who are often the targets of robocalls. 

The senators included their own proposals for the FCC to consider, including bolstering do-not-call protections and establishing strong provisions for consumers to opt in and out of receiving such calls.

The FCC has taken action on the matter over the past year, handing a record $120 million dollar fine to one Florida man who made almost 100 million robocalls

Lawmakers who signed the letter spearhead by Sen. Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySome employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report Overnight Energy: Warren bill would force companies to disclose climate impacts | Green group backs Gillum in Florida gov race | Feds to open refuge near former nuke site ICE: No immigration enforcement in areas of hurricane shelters or evacuations MORE (D-Mass.) are Sens. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints Dem senators introduce resolution calling on Trump to stop attacking the press Booming economy has Trump taking a well-deserved victory lap MORE (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoTen years later: Wounds run deep from 2008 crash Attorneys general races in spotlight as parties build bench, fight feds Senate panel narrowly approves Trump consumer bureau pick MORE (D-Nev.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSome employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report Hillicon Valley: North Korean IT firm hit with sanctions | Zuckerberg says Facebook better prepared for midterms | Big win for privacy advocates in Europe | Bezos launches B fund to help children, homeless Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law MORE (D-Ore.), Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanHouse panel advances DHS cyber vulnerabilities bills Chris Pappas wins Democratic House primary in New Hampshire Overnight Health Care: Manchin fires gun at anti-ObamaCare lawsuit in new ad | More Dems come out against Kavanaugh | Michigan seeks Medicaid work requirements MORE (D-N.H.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharGOP in striking distance to retake Franken seat Warner: 'overwhelming majority' of Republicans would back social media regulations Republicans block Democratic bid to subpoena Kavanaugh documents MORE (D-Minn.), Tina SmithTina Flint SmithKavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates GOP in striking distance to retake Franken seat HHS should look into Azar's close ties to the drug industry MORE (D-Minn.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenAnother recession could hit US in 2019, says credit union association chief Warren says vote should be delayed, asks what Kavanaugh is hiding Kavanaugh hires attorney amid sexual assault allegations: report MORE (D-Mass.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinPrimary turnout soars in 2018 with Dems leading charge Senate rankings: 10 seats most likely to flip Five biggest surprises in midterm fight MORE (D-Wis.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandEx-GOP donor urges support for Dems in midterms: 'Democracy is at stake' Overnight Energy: Warren bill would force companies to disclose climate impacts | Green group backs Gillum in Florida gov race | Feds to open refuge near former nuke site Former Virginia Gov. McAuliffe to visit Iowa, fueling 2020 speculation MORE (D-N.Y.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedNew York Times: Trump mulling whether to replace Mattis after midterms Overnight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war Senators press Trump administration on Yemen civil war MORE (D-R.I.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOvernight Defense: Details on defense spending bill | NATO chief dismisses talk of renaming HQ for McCain | North Korea warns US over cyber allegations Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law Trump authorizes sanctions against foreign governments that interfere in US elections MORE (D-Md.), Gary PetersGary Charles PetersLawmakers move to award posthumous Congressional Gold Medal to Aretha Franklin The farm bill gives Congress a chance to act on the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act Bipartisanship alive and well, protecting critical infrastructure MORE (D-Mich.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents Judd Gregg: The collapse of the Senate Dems engage in last-ditch effort to block Kavanaugh MORE (D-N.J.).