House to Vote on Robocall Fine-Boosting Bill

The full House will vote on the Stopping Bad Robocall Act Wednesday (July 24), according to the House Energy & Commerce Committee Democratic staff.

The bill, which includes five robocall-related bills in one package, passed the committee unanimously last week.

Related: FTC to Unveil Robocall 'Call it Quits' Campaign

Among many other things, the bill boosts the FCC's fine for illegal robocalls from $1,500 per violation to $10,000 per.

Also approved was an amendment that creates a Hospital Robocall Protection Group within the FCC to concentrate on the scourge of scam calls to hospital staff and patients, which threaten both life and health as well as personal health information, the legislators said.

The bill allows for consumers to know which calls are being blocked and increases information sharing between phone companies and the FCC to better trace unwanted robocalls to their source.

The FCC under chairman Ajit Pai has made cracking down on unwanted calls, that number in the many billions annually, one of his signature issues. That includes recently clarifying that carriers can block robocalls by default and incentivizing them to add the feature at no extra charge. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.