U.S. Rep. Pallone Reintroduces Bill to Expand Autodialer Definition

Pallone’s bill is the House version of the Bad Robocalls Act.

2/4/2019 8:00 AM

U.S. Rep. Pallone Reintroduces Bill to Expand Autodialer Definition

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J., reintroduced the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (HR 946) in the House of Representatives to stop abusive robocall practices.

Pallone’s bill would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand the definition of an autodialer, despite that it was struck down already as arbitrary and capricious in the ACA International decision in the D.C. Circuit. Specifically, the bill would define a “robocall” as a call or text message made using equipment that makes a series of calls to stored telephone numbers, included telephone numbers stored on a list, or to telephone numbers produced using a random or sequential number generator; or a call made using an artificial or prerecorded voice. 

“While the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act on its face sounds positive, implying that it addresses bad and illegal actors making abusive robocalls, in reality it is not appropriately tailored to achieving that objective,” said Leah Dempsey, Vice President and Senior Counsel of Federal Advocacy. “Despite its purported efforts to curtail practices harming consumers, in practicality this legislation would cause further confusion about TCPA compliance and harm businesses and the consumers they seek to contact with information they need about their finances, healthcare, daily lives such as closures for weather, and a host of other legitimate business communications.”

In the last Congress there were companion versions of the Bad Robocalls Act introduced in both the House and Senate.

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