The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a new act designed to reduce robocalls by improving the technology used to fight against the calls.
The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act was unanimously approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee last week, and was sent to the House floor on Wednesday, where it was passed with a 429-3 vote.
The bill grants more power to the Federal Communications Commission to take action against illegal robocalling, and would require carriers to implement caller identity verification technology.
The Hill reports carriers would not be allowed to charge for the verification features.
The legislation requires telephone carriers to implement technology that verifies caller identity without charging customers an extra fee, while extending the FCC’s authority to impose penalties against the entities that send spam calls.
The measure would give the FCC more time to investigate and punish illegal robocallers, require the agency to pare down the list of companies that are allowed to use robocalling services and raise the penalty for illegal robocallers to $10,000 per violation from $1,500.
The new act is similar to the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act passed by the Senate earlier this year.
A spokesman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee told The Hill there likely will not be a formal conference committee to resolve discrepancies between the two bills. Instead, he said there will be “informal negotiations” during the August recess.
Both the House and the Senate have passed robocalling measures this year, raising hopes that Congress could send a bill to the White House before the end of 2019.