The HANGUP Act would protect consumers from receiving abusive robocalls and robotexts on their mobile phones from government contractors
Washington (February 28, 2019) - Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Representative Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) today reintroduced the bipartisan Help Americans Never Get Unwanted Phone calls (HANGUP) Act to address the scourge of unwanted robocalls and robotexts. The legislation strikes a provision of the 2015 Budget Act that exempts callers collecting debt owed or guaranteed by the federal government from key robocalling and robotexting protections. The bill also rescinds the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Broadnet et. al Declaratory Ruling, which formally exempts government contractors from the TCPA. Both harmful carve outs could pave the way for a deluge of unwanted robocalls and robotexts from federal debt collectors, military recruiters, tax collectors, and other federal contractors. 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.
“Consumers should be empowered to say no to any unwanted and abusive robocall or robotext, especially from a federal debt collector,” said Senator Markey, the House author of the TCPA. “The bipartisan HANGUP Act will ensure that government contractors are subject to meaningful rules protecting consumers from robocalls and robotexts. I thank Senator Lee and Representative Eshoo for their partnership on this important issue.”
“Congress passed the TCPA to ensure that consumers are not harassed with unwanted robocalls and texts,” said Senator Lee. “The HANGUP Act ensures that government and government contractors are held to the same standard that we hold independent and private businesses.”
“The American people are fed up with being harassed by robocalls and texts,” said Rep. Eshoo. “What Congress instituted to protect consumers was rolled back in 2015, subjecting consumers to these incessant barrages. The bipartisan HANGUP Act cracks down on the unacceptable 26 billion robocalls made last year and stops debt collectors from going after Americans who have difficulty paying their federal student loans.”
A copy of the HANG UP Act can be found HERE.