Senator Schumer Introduces ROBOCOP Act to the Senate

Christina Tetreault
Staff Attorney

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Big news: a bill that would require phone companies to offer free effective tools to block robocalls made it to the Senate as Senator Charles Schumer introduced the ROBOCOP (Repeated Objectionable Bothering of Consumers on Phones) Act.

Senator Schumer’s bill joins the House version of the ROBOCOP Act that Representative Jackie Speier introduced in April.  While the bill requires phone companies to offer the option of blocking unwanted calls, consumers will have the ultimate choice about whether to use the call blocking tools. Moreover, emergency robocalls, as well as robocalls that consumers have opted to receive will not be affected. The bill also requires that the phone companies take steps to combat “spoofing” (wherein the true identity of a call number is masked).

Consumers Union’s Programs Director Chuck Bell was at Senator Schumer’s press conference when the Senator announced his plans to introduce the ROBOCOP Act to the Senate. As our friends at Consumerist reported, Chuck reminded the assembled why this legislation matters: “Most Americans have signed up for the Do Not Call list, but the unwanted calls from telemarketers and scam artists have just gotten worse.” With the failure of the Do Not Call list, the urgent need for free, effective tools to stop unwanted calls is apparent.

SchumerIf what the ROBOCOP Act does sounds familiar, it should. More than 600,000 folks have joined End Robocalls calling on the phone companies to provide free effective tools to block robocalls, including Senator Schumer who  joined the campaign back in March.

We’re grateful for the hard work of Senator Schumer and Representative Speier in working to End Robocalls, and we’re going to continue our work to pressure the phone companies to act. Join the movement here.

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