November 17, 2015

Wyden Urges FCC to Limit Unwanted Debt Collection Robocalls

41 lawmakers sign letter to FCC in wake of passage of provision in budget bill

Washington, DCSen. Ron Wyden, D–Ore., today joined Sen. Edward J. Markey, D–Mass., Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, D–Ore., and 38 other Senate and House members in calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to limit unwanted robocalls and texts to those with debt owed to or backed by the federal government.

Section 301 of the recently passed budget bill potentially opens the door to unwanted robocalls and texts to the cell phones of student loan borrowers, mortgage borrowers, veterans and others with debt owed to or guaranteed by the federal government. 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.

We urge you to consider the important role the Commission has in protecting the convenience and privacy that the TCPA has provided for more than two decades,” write the lawmakers in the letter to the FCC. “These protections should continue for years to come.  Calls from debt collectors, even for debts owed to or guaranteed by the federal government, should be closely limited to further the goals of the TCPA.”

A copy of the letter to the FCC can be found HERE.

Senators signing the letter include: Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Bill Nelson, D–Fla., Robert Menendez D–N.J., Patrick Leahy, D–Vt., Bernard Sanders I–Vt., Al Franken, D–Minn., Elizabeth Warren, D–Mass., Amy Klobuchar, D–Minn., Ron Wyden, D–Ore., Richard Blumenthal, D–Conn., and Jeffrey A. Merkley, D–Ore.

House members signing the letter include: Suzanne Bonamici, D–Ore., Anna G. Eshoo, D–Calif., Frank Pallone Jr., D–N.J., Raúl M. Grijalva, D–Ariz., Eleanor Holmes Norton, D–D.C., Betty McCollum, D–Minn., Charles B. Rangel, D–N.Y., Mark Pocan, D–Wis., James P. McGovern, D–Mass., Alan Grayson, D–Fla., Mike Thompson, D–Calif., Donald S. Beyer Jr., D–Va., Diana DeGette, D–Colo., Paul D. Tonko, D–N.Y., John Lewis, D–Ga., Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, D–Ga., Chris Van Hollen, D–Md., Suzan DelBene, D–Wash., John Yarmuth, D–Ky., Joe Courtney, D–Conn., Jackie Speier, D–Calif., Earl Blumenauer, D–Ore., Doris Matsui, D–Calif., Barbara Lee, D–Calif., Donna F. Edwards, D–Md., Sam Farr, D–Calif., Michael M. Honda, D–Calif., Mike Doyle, D–Pa., Jan Schakowsky, D–Ill., and Danny K. Davis, D–Ill.

Earlier this month, Wyden joined 10 other senators in introducing the HANGUP Act. The HANGUP Act would strike Section 301 of the Budget Act of 2015 and protect Americans from harassing robocalls.