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Lawmakers to FCC: It’s time to enforce existing regulations on robocalls

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Lawmakers are encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to enforce existing regulations regarding consent of receiving telemarketing calls.

Sens. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico and Edward Markey of Massachusetts were joined by Sen. Mark R. Warner of Virginia in sending a letter to FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on the need to crack down on annoying spam calls and robocalls.

The letter asks the FCC to issue guidance along the lines of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent Business Guidance restating the FCC’s long-held requirements for these unwanted telemarketing calls. The FCC will assist telemarketers and sellers in complying with requirements by issuing guidance similar to the FTC’s.

“While the consideration of new regulations may be appropriate in some instances, we believe that the FCC’s current regulations already prohibit many of the activities that lead to the proliferation of unwanted telemarketing calls,” the senators wrote. “Both the regulations issued in 2003 delineating the rules for telemarketers to obtain consent for calls to lines subscribed to the Do Not Call Registry, and those issued in 2012 governing consent to receive telemarketing calls made with an artificial or prerecorded voice or an automated telephone dialing system, clearly set out the types of protections intended by Congress to eliminate unwanted telemarketing calls.”

The letter concludes: “As Congress instructed the FCC ‘to maximize consistency with the rule promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission’ relating to the implementation of the Do-Not-Call Registry, we respectfully urge the FCC to issue a guidance along the lines of the FTC’s recent Business Guidance restating its long-held requirements for these unwanted telemarketing calls. As inconsistent rules governing the same activity would be problematic, by issuing guidance similar to the FTC’s, the FCC will assist telemarketers and sellers in complying with these requirements.”

The letter is also signed by U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Peter Welch of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Angus King of Maine, Richard Durbin of Illinois, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Gary Peters of Michigan.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.