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U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist’s, D-Fla., proposal to cut down on spam calls is headed to the House floor. 

Florida Politics

House Ready to Vote on Florida Congressman’s Proposal Taking Aim at Spam Calls

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U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist’s, D-Fla., proposal to cut down on spam calls is headed to the House floor. 

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U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist’s, D-Fla., proposal to cut down on spam calls is headed to the House floor.

Back in January, Crist paired up with U.S. Reps. Matt Cartwright, D-Penn., Garret Graves, R-La., and the late Walter Jones, R-NC, to bring out the “Spam Calls Task Force Act” which will create a federal task force to cut down on spam calls. Crist’s office insisted these calls are a “growing problem” to people across the nation and noted that 50 percent of cell phones receive them.

The proposal would make the U.S. attorney general “work with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to convene an interagency working group with other federal and state agencies to address the following issues relating to spam calls: determine if any federal laws, regulations, or policies inhibit the enforcement of section of the Telephone Consumer Protections Act that prohibits spam/scam calls; identify existing and potential policies and programs that encourage and improve coordination among departments, agencies, and states; identify existing and potential international policies and programs; consider if additional resources would be helpful; consider if formal agreements between states and the federal government and/or foreign governments would be helpful; and consider if increased criminal penalties or fines would serve as an increased deterrent.”

Back in April, Crist reeled in some support for the bill as Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and almost 20 health care and technology organizations, including BayCare Health System and the Moffitt Cancer Center, threw their support behind his proposal.

With 35 cosponsors, Crist’s proposal continues to gain steam. Florida Democrat U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Ted Deutch, Stephanie Murphy, Darren Soto and Frederica Wilson and Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan and Brian Mast are cosponsors.

At the end of last month, Crist was able to get his proposal rolled into U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone’s, D-NJ, “Stopping Bad Robocalls Act” which cleared the U.S. House Communications and Technology Subcommittee last month.

The proposal scored another win this week as U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the bill without opposition. After the bill cleared the committee on a 49-0 vote, Crist weighed in as the legislation heads to the House floor.

“Day and night, Americans are fighting an onslaught of spam calls that endanger their privacy and personal information. Spam calls are not just a nuisance, they are a technological tool used by bad actors to deceive and take advantage of millions of unsuspecting Americans,” said Crist on Wednesday. “I thank Chairman Pallone for his leadership on this issue, and I look forward to a House floor vote very soon to crack down on this scourge once and for all.”

 

 

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

Author

  • Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Samuel Memberg

    July 23, 2019, 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm

    I commend your initiative on this and support your efforts. Thanks!

  2. Carol Cuddyer

    July 23, 2019, 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm

    Thank you, Rep. Charlie Crist!
    Robot calls have to gi

  3. Charles Wood

    July 23, 2019, 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm

    Go Charlie!

  4. Charles T Meditz

    July 23, 2019, 7:19 pm at 7:19 pm

    Thank you for your effort, we get between5 & 10 junk calls every day.

  5. Anita Booher

    July 23, 2019, 7:40 pm at 7:40 pm

    Thank you for your work on this issue!

  6. David

    July 23, 2019, 7:44 pm at 7:44 pm

    Seriously, a federal task force? You can easily stop this via statute that permits the phone companies to block them, we don’t need a task force; look how well the ridiculous do not call list has worked, yet another waste of tax money implementing a bad idea in a bad way. Let the phone carriers do what they’re good at, and the best one will make eliminating spam calls a competitive advantage, forcing the others to follow, free of charge to tax payers.

  7. Steven Palmisano

    July 23, 2019, 8:58 pm at 8:58 pm

    Thank you Charlie for all the great accomplishments and efforts, you are a truly a good man and we are very fortunate to have you!

  8. William Wilson

    July 24, 2019, 12:49 am at 12:49 am

    I agree, tired of robo calls on our home phone.

  9. Peggy Ellis

    July 24, 2019, 9:52 am at 9:52 am

    Thank you, Representative Crist and the other sponsors of this urgently needed proposal. I currently have someone in a nursing home. When a call comes from there it is usually from a house phone but situations sometimes demand use of personal cell phone when a staffer needs to get in touch with me. Therefore, I feel compelled to answer any call in case it is coming from a staffer even though I do not need SS help (do not have Medicare), so not need extension of auto insurance, do not need help with my student loan (I graduated 64 years ago), etc. Go for it – any help we can get with abolishment of these calls would be tremendously appreciated.

  10. Michael Donofrio

    July 24, 2019, 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm

    Thank you Charlie–we appreciate your efforts in that regard. The spam calls are getting worse and whats more is that when you try to tell them to take your name off their records-they just “keep talking”.

  11. BarbFida

    July 24, 2019, 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm

    I applaud Congressman Crist for his efforts to stop these invasive calls!
    Thank you

  12. Cathy

    July 24, 2019, 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm

    We are bombarded with robo phone calls. Please stop this..wish you have luck. Pinellas County on florida

  13. Mary Ellen Simpson

    July 24, 2019, 9:41 pm at 9:41 pm

    I am so harassed by these calls every day and every hour or two while I try to work at home . I am so sick of these calls and appreciate the fact that relief is on the way. I think these calls increase stress levels of many people. Thank you !

  14. Elizabeth S Atkinson Kissel

    July 25, 2019, 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm

    Hi Mr. Charlie Crist,

    I’m so glad something is going to be done real soon I hope. The number I’m giving you that I want

    you and who ever else to listen and to address this. I’m going to be 70 soon and I worry about the ones
    older than me and not know that this is a scram. Please call and listen to this 213-335-6372 and
    424-281-0251 and they leave messages to call so I don’t get arrested. E.Kissel

  15. valerie Tarrant

    July 25, 2019, 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm

    Stop the Robo calls!!! Invasion of privacy.

  16. Delois e Harrison

    July 26, 2019, 10:37 am at 10:37 am

    Thank you Mr. Charlie Christ. I am so tired of those too calls.

  17. MARCELA PAEZ

    July 27, 2019, 11:53 am at 11:53 am

    Good. Do something about it very soon. I always block those calls and keep calling back from different number.

  18. Michelle Mattogno

    July 28, 2019, 3:28 pm at 3:28 pm

    From the crack of dawn till the sun goes down its nonstop.. Then they are saying they are the IRS AND IMVGOING GO JAIL THEY HAD ME CRYING AND ANOTHER ONE THEY DO IS SOCIAL SECURITY SAYING IVE COMMITTED FRAUDULENT ACTS. HOW DO WE GET THIS TO STOP ?? I WOULD LOVE TO GE A SPOKESWOMAN FOR THIS. I DIDN’T ANSWER MY PHONE THE OTHER DAY AND IT SHOWED 17 MISSED CALLS FROM 8-10 AM.

  19. Bob Peterson

    July 31, 2019, 11:30 am at 11:30 am

    This sounds very good on the surface but…. It also sounds like a great opportunity to grow gov’t and spend taxpayer money, IE “TASK FORCE”. Every agency involved in this will tell you they are already spread too thin and will need additional personnel.
    After much investigation the solution will be legislation for some type of technological fix that will be bypassed in weeks. Part 2 will be some type of punishments IE fines that will never be imposed. Maybe I’m jaded but i am clearly skeptical.
    Here’s a simple fix off the top of my head and I am not that smart. 1) require companies to identify their company name on the phone call, not just the number. If companies start seeing their robocalling initiatives having a negative affect on their sales they will look at other options. 2) A nuisance billing law. If I get two calls per day from someone such as Medicare Plus I would be able to bill them say .50 per call. If I and 10K other people bill them $50.00 per month and the courts support their obligation to pay, this will cease pretty quickly. I’m sure there are many holes in these ideas but the brainiacs that we pay big bucks to should be able to come up with solutions that don’t require a task force, studies, investigations and complicated legislation that will not be followed through on.

  20. The loud one

    August 23, 2019, 10:31 am at 10:31 am

    Just get a human on the phone and then blast them with a portable air horn.

  21. ROBERT BEMIS

    August 23, 2019, 10:34 am at 10:34 am

    DISABLE UNWANTED ROBO CALLS

  22. Leigh Tischler

    August 23, 2019, 11:11 am at 11:11 am

    Thank you! Needless to say, this is a nonpartisan issue that the whole country would like to have addressed!

  23. Joe Florio

    August 23, 2019, 11:13 am at 11:13 am

    Mr. Crist,
    Thank you for going after these people, are they buying lists from companies that have a list of donators? I thought that was already illegal to sell private information?
    If seniors find out that they are selling their private information to companies or people looking to get money from these seniors, they won’t donate to anyone anymore.
    We are sick and tired of getting these calls just at supper time, have to get up from the table to find out who that is, then they realize it’s a robo call, it’s disgusting.

    Thank you for doing this,

  24. Armando

    August 23, 2019, 11:14 am at 11:14 am

    GET’R. DONE. And also look into term limits…..

  25. elliot Glanz

    August 23, 2019, 11:17 am at 11:17 am

    Thank you sir for your efforts to help stop those calls once and for all.
    Irene and Elliot Glanz

  26. Yvonne Camacho

    August 23, 2019, 11:59 am at 11:59 am

    No need to even say it. I have so many blocks on my phone, it just isn’t funny. I’m elderly, so therefore to them, I’m a goldmine, when I can hardly pay my bills. Thieves are thieves and have no conscience, period!

  27. Kathy Oliver

    August 23, 2019, 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm

    Thank you , thank you this bill is really needed

  28. Kelly Ryan Holmes

    August 23, 2019, 1:36 pm at 1:36 pm

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make them stop!

  29. John M Deck

    August 23, 2019, 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm

    If this bill doesn’t more teeth than the NO CALL LIST than it will not be worth the paper its written on.

  30. Rob M

    August 23, 2019, 2:40 pm at 2:40 pm

    Can’t we just add an electrocute caller button added to our phones?

  31. Sandra Garbers

    August 23, 2019, 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm

    Can’t wait for something to be done. So annoying! Must be 10 a day! The NO CALL LIST doesn’t seem to help I would so appreciate it if you can get this passed and stopped.
    Thanks.

  32. Robert Lowe

    August 24, 2019, 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm

    It is about time we do something about Robo calls that are also harming some elder people and almost everyone else in the Us. There is not a day that between my company business and my personal business that I do not get calls every day. The phone company can stop these people and the FCC needs to arrest these people that are usually con men and women and just want to get your money. These calls also look like they are coming from your local area phone numbers.It also takes up every bodies time all day. What can we do as consumers to get bills approved and ENFORCED ?
    Thanks to Brian Mast also for his leadership.

  33. Anonymous

    August 25, 2019, 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm

    Charles T Meditz , if u get 10 calls a day you are luckey. My answering machine fills up leaving no room for important messages. To clear answering machine alone takes valuueable time. I think all spam , unwanted sales calls should be stoped, …
    If I want life ins. extended auto warnty, medical bracelet, back braces or what ever , I can find a local agent or business for it.
    Sorry to carry on about this but I am as sick of it as one can be. Yet we taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for enforcing restraints
    .

  34. Charles Ulrich

    August 27, 2019, 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm

    I have a possible solution, although it maybe fiscally and technically naive. Why can’t the phone providers charge a small fee per call as they did in the early days of cell phones? Even one cent per call would eliminate the robocallers who make thousands of calls per hour. I would be happy to pay this fee if it eliminated the bad guys.

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Ed Dean is a leading radio and news media personality including hosting the #1 statewide radio talk show in Florida. Contact Ed.Dean@FloridaDaily.com

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