New law will boost call authentication, call blocking, and penalties for robocall scammers


Boston (December 31, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), co-author of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act (S.151) with Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), today praised the signing into law of his bipartisan legislation. On December 19, the Senate approved a modified version of their bill by a simple voice vote. The Senate first passed S.151 by a vote of 97 to 1 on May 23, 2019, and the House of Representatives passed a modified version of the bill by a vote of 417 to 3 on December 4, 2019.


In 1991 Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the law that ensures that consumers should not be subject to intrusive and unsolicited calls from telemarketers. Senator Markey is the House author of the TCPA. 


“As Americans ring in the New Year, we now know that our phones will soon ring a lot less with annoying robocalls,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “I’m pleased that the TRACED Act has been signed into law, and I appreciate Senator Thune’s partnership on this important effort. It’s time to close the book on the era of illegal robocall madness.”


The TRACED Act, which the Washington Post editorial board recently said “is what good, old-fashioned legislating looks like,” gives regulators more time to find scammers and levy fines for those who are caught, promotes call authentication and blocking adoption, and brings relevant federal agencies and state attorneys general together to address impediments to criminal prosecution of robocallers who intentionally flout laws.