On May 23, 2019, the U.S. Senate approved the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (“TRACED”) Act by an overwhelming 97-1 vote. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was the only senator to vote against the bill.

The bi-partisan bill was originally introduced in November of 2018 by U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.). If passed, the TRACED Act would expand the TCPA, giving the FCC authority to levy civil penalties of up to $10,000 per call for intentional violations. It also extends the statute of limitations for violations of the TCPA to three years.

Notably, the TRACED ACT also expands TCPA enforcement powers to the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Commerce, State Department, Department of Homeland Security, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other federal agencies, as well as state attorneys general and non-federal entities.

The Act has garnered support from 54 state and territory attorneys general, all of the FCC and FTC commissioners, and industry and consumer groups alike. “The American people are ready for this,” said Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

The TRACED Act now goes before the House of Representatives, where it awaits approval.

We will be following the fate of the TRACED Act closely and will continue to keep you updated with further developments.