Removing Barriers Blog

House E & C Committee passes robocall legislation with CUNA-supported language
Posted July 17, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed the H.R. 3375, Stop Robocalls Now Act.  Prior to the Committee's markup, CUNA wrote in support of the bipartisan effort that produced H.R. 3375 and supporting the inclusion of language regarding notice and a complaint mechanism for opt-in, white-list call blocking, redress for erroneous call-blocking by the Federal Communications Commission, and cost protection for callers using the notice and complaint process for call-blocking services.  

In June, CUNA wrote to the Subcommittee prior to their markup for H.R. 3375 stating concerns with the omission of:

  • A notice and complaint mechanism for opt-in, white-list call blocking. Though the FCC’s recent declaratory ruling requires a complaint and notice mechanism for both opt-out and opt-in call blocking services, H.R. 3375 requires that process only for opt-out calls—as a result, credit unions would have no notice of when a consumer has chosen to opt-in to no longer receiving their calls due to their decision to limit their telephone services to “white-list” contacts exclusively;
  • A redress for erroneous call-blocking by the FCC. Unlike the FCC’s final declaratory ruling regarding call-blocking services, H.R. 3375 does not authorize callers to seek recourse from the Commission for erroneously blocked calls. Given that callers will not necessarily have a direct contractual with a voice service provider, it is essential that callers have the ability to seek assistance from the FCC to ensure that erroneously blocked calls are unblocked; and
  • Cost protection language for callers using the notice and complaint process for call-blocking services. Though the bill indicates that customers cannot be charged for call-blocking or complaint resolution services for erroneously blocked calls, it does not include similar language protecting legitimate callers seeking to have their call abilities restored.

“We share the concerns that Chairman Pallone (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Walden (R-Ore) have regarding the volume of illegal robocalls American consumers are receiving, and we appreciate the steps that the legislation takes in an effort to reduce these calls,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We are grateful that the committee made three key changes that address those concerns and we look forward to continuing to engage lawmakers to find additional solutions to preserve credit unions' ability to reach their members for legitimate business concerns.”