In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) introduced this legislation to put an end to the scourge of political robocalls that many Americans have to deal with each election year:
“Every election season Americans are inundated with pre-recorded campaign calls that flood their home phone lines. Just as unsolicited sales calls from telemarketers are an unwelcome intrusion for many Americans, political robocalls are often viewed as a nuisance and come at inconvenient times for many individuals and families. The Robo COP Act would eliminate a special carveout for political campaigns, making politicians play by the same rules as everyone else who makes robocalls. Just as individuals are able to opt out of unsolicited sales calls, they should have the right to opt out of receiving campaign robocalls.”
This bill doesn't have any cosponsors in the current session of Congress. Last Congress, it had three bipartisan cosponsors, including two Democrats and one Republican, and didn't receive a committee vote. Rep. Fox has introduced this legislation every term since she entered Congress in 2004 — but it has yet to be enacted.
Of Note: Robocalls to mobile phones and home phone lines, including calls by political organizations, are generally prohibited without prior written consent. However, there are exceptions to the landline robocall prohibition for certain categories of calls, including: emergencies, calls of a purely informational nature (e.g., school closures or flight delays), and calls from charities and political organizations.
A recent rule proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — not to be confused with the FTC, which would implement this legislation — would allow phone carriers to block robocalls and automated text messages at the request of their consumers.
Media:Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Pixlr adaptation of Flickr user Mike Licht's image)