Robocalls

Bill to crack down on robocalls passes Senate

Illustration of a robot holding a handset while another hand holding scissors cuts the cord
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

Robocallers face fight on many fronts

Illustration of a robot holding a handset while another hand holding scissors cuts the cord.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Federal regulators, lawmakers, and private companies haven't found any one tool that on its own can stem the flood of robocalls, so they are trying several approaches at once.

The big picture: There were a record 5.7 billion robocalls in October, according to YouMail, and the Federal Communications Commission has singled out the issue as its top consumer complaint.