Removing Barriers Blog

Robocalls and TCPA
Posted June 24, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

This Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will markup H.R. 3375, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act. This legislation was initially introduced as H.R. 946 earlier this year and CUNA—along with its league and industry partners — has worked with the majority and minority to improve it. There may be opportunities to make additional technical changes if credit unions discuss their outstanding concerns with Energy and Commerce Committee members during recess. 

We can positively report that, through continued engagement with the Subcommittee on a bipartisan basis, the current bill requires the Federal Communications Commission to, once and for all, resolve the dispute between the varying judicial circuits on the definition of an “autodialer” by providing that definition within six months of the enactment of the law. As many of you already know, CUNA previously petitioned the FCC—on behalf of our credit union members--regarding the circuit court’s split on definitional language and, to date, has not received any formal response. The bipartisan bill’s admonishment that the Commission must provide that definition sooner, rather than later, is a definite victory for the concerns that you have raised. 

In addition, we note that the newly-introduced bipartisan bill reinforces the need for notice and complaint mechanisms for callers as a component of the FCC’s efforts to mandate opt-out call-blocking services and eliminates any reference to “unwanted calls,” which were previously present in Representative Pallone’s prior versions of the draft bill for reintroduction. As many of you know, more than 1,000 credit unions weighed in to challenge the FCC’s original draft ruling using the language of “unwanted calls” and foregoing any notice and complaint resolution—and the FCC was forced to amend the ruling to include those components prior to passage. The House bill’s recognition that each of these components are essential is further recognition of the strength of your advocacy and the legitimacy of the concerns that you have raised. But, we’re not done..... 

Last week, CUNA conducted a call on this legislation and provided a series of talking points that we need you to adapt and send to your Members of Congress. You can access those talking points here. We still need to move the ball forward and push this legislation to a better place; and we need your help to do so. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to contact your representatives in the House to express your concerns with the bill....