House passes bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act


Credit: W.Scott McGill

Rep. Abigail Spanberger helped pass bipartisan legislation that would give Central Virginia consumers the tools they need to block spam robocalls.

Between 2016 and 2018, U.S. consumers experienced an estimated 64 percent increase in unwanted robocalls. And this year, one study estimates that nearly 50 percent of all calls to cell phones in the United States will be scam calls. In June 2019 alone, Virginia experienced more than 114 million robocalls—approximately 15 robocalls per person by the end of the month. These calls significantly disrupt important communications and undermine public trust in the nation’s telecommunications systems.

The Spanberger-supported Stopping Bad Robocalls Act would create new requirements for caller authentication. Additionally, the bipartisan bill would give U.S. consumers the ability to block unlawful calls—and it would require more telemarketers to gain consent before calling individual Americans.

“The recent uptick in illegal robocalls in Virginia is more than just annoying—it’s dangerous. Across the country, robocallers are using fake phone numbers to trick consumers into divulging personal information. These illegal calls perpetuate fraud, and in cases where scammers are disrupting hospital operations and police departments, they are potentially putting our community members at risk,” said Spanberger. “I’m proud to stand with a strong, bipartisan majority of the U.S. House in cosponsoring and passing legislation that would prevent these intrusive calls. By strengthening caller authentication systems and giving consumers the ability to block unlawful calls at no extra charge, we are restoring trust in our system—and we are cracking down on those who break our laws. I’ll keep fighting to protect Americans from scams and those who try to swindle our most vulnerable citizens, and I urge the U.S. Senate to take up this commonsense legislation as soon as possible.”

In addition to its consumer protections, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act would also give law enforcement and the Federal Communications Commission the tools, information, and resources they need to deter scam calls and investigate robocallers that break the law. These changes include lengthening the statute of limitations on robocalls violations and giving authority to impose greater fines.

The bipartisan bill is supported by AARP, Consumer Reports, Americans for Financial Reform, Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, National Association of Consumer Advocates, National Consumer Law Center, Public Citizen, and Public Knowledge. Earlier this week, AARP Virginia thanked Spanberger in a Tweet for her support of the bipartisan legislation.

The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act is led by U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), Greg Walden (R-OR-02), Mike Doyle (D-PA-18), and Bob Latta (R-OH-05).

Click here for a summary of the bill.

augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.