Dec 19, 2019

Bill to crack down on robocalls passes Senate

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congress on Thursday approved legislation aimed at deterring the flood of robocalls hitting consumers' phones, sending the bill to the president's desk.

Driving the news: The Pallone-Thune TRACED Act unanimously cleared the Senate after the House approved it earlier this month.

Details: The bill requires carriers to verify that calls are legitimate before they reach consumers; ensures providers make robocall-blocking services available for free; and bolsters the federal government's ability to impose and collect fines for illegal calls.

  • "I look forward to the president's signature on this TRACED Act in the near future, and hope, as this bill gets implemented, that it will once again be safe to answer your phone in this country," Republican Sen. John Thune said in remarks on the Senate floor.

Go deeper: Robocallers face fight on many fronts

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Senate Republicans hope Trump stays off Twitter during impeachment trial

A tweet from President Trump about former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is displayed during her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in November. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/Getty Images

Senate Republicans told Politico that they hope President Trump will stay off Twitter during his impeachment trial.

The big picture: GOP lawmakers fear that a tweetstorm — like the one the president embarked on the day of the impeachment vote — could disrupt their strategy, sway undecideds and ruin the chances of a unanimous acquittal from Senate Republicans.

Go deeperArrowDec 19, 2019

McConnell on Trump impeachment: "The Senate exists for moments like this"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke from the Senate floor on Thursday regarding the House's vote to impeach President Trump, saying that the Founding Fathers designed the chamber "to provide stability" and prevent an "unprecedented constitutional crisis."

The big picture: While McConnell didn't provide any new details regarding his plans for the Senate trial during his floor speech, he laid out his theory of the case on impeachment, indicating his belief that the House inquiry was rushed and circumvented constitutional safeguards designed to protect Trump.

Go deeperArrowDec 19, 2019

House votes to send articles of impeachment to Senate

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House approved a resolution on Wednesday appointing House managers for the impeachment trial and transmitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Rep Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) was the sole Democrat to vote against the resolution.

Why it matters: The vote triggers the start of the long-anticipated Senate trial, which has been delayed for nearly a month after the House approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020