On April 3, 2019, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee unanimously passed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act. Recall that the TRACED Act is a piece of legislation that was first proposed back in November 2018 by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), House author of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

According to Senator Markey’s website, “The TRACED Act gives regulators more time to find robocall scammers, increases penalties for violators, promotes call authentication and blocking adoption, and brings federal agencies and state attorneys general together to address obstacles to criminal prosecution of robocallers who intentionally flout laws.”

The proposed bill was reintroduced in January 2019 and has now advanced in the process of becoming law by passing through the Senate Commerce Committee by a vote of 26-0. Regarding yesterday’s committee vote on the TRACED Act, Senator Markey had this to say:

We’re sending a message today to fraudulent robocallers: your days are numbered. Today, the Senate took an important step toward finally ending the deluge of unwanted and intrusive robocalls bombarding millions of consumers each and every day. Now that the Senate Commerce Committee has unanimously passed the bipartisan TRACED Act, the time has come for Congress to enshrine these crucial protections into law.

Notably, the Act has garnered support from many important groups, including 54 state and territory attorneys general. It also has a large bipartisan backing, which includes cosponsors Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., as well as 17 other senators.

With this level of support, it appears this bill has a solid chance at becoming law. We will be sure to keep any eye on the progress of the TRACED Act. Continue to check back for updates!