VIDEO: Sen. Schatz ‘We Must Do More To Fight Illegal Robocalls’April 11, 2019, 12:02 PM HST (Updated April 11, 2019, 12:02 PM)
Sen. Brian Schatz, the top Democrat on the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee, led a hearing on Thursday, April 11, 2019, to review the actions the federal government can take to stop illegal robocalls.
“Frustration with illegal robocalls is something that crosses state lines, party lines, and phone lines and unites Americans everywhere,” said Sen. Schatz. “Robocalls have turned us into a nation of call screeners. We only pick up when we are sure we know who’s calling. Some people just don’t make or take calls on their cell phones, or have cut their landlines because of robocalls. And despite the laws we already have in place, the deluge is getting worse.”
As the lead Democrat on the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee, Schatz introduced the Robocall Enforcement Enhancement Act last year. Schatz’s bill would help the Federal Communications Commission prosecute violations of robocalls by increasing the statute of limitations from one year to three. Last week, Schatz also voted to advance the TRACED Act, bipartisan legislation to crack down on illegal robocall scams.
Complaints about unwanted robocalls have rapidly increased in recent years. In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 4.5 million robocall complaints, an increase of over a million calls from the year before. The process of identifying and going after robocall violators often takes months, making it difficult to move forward with a case under the current one-year statute of limitations.