On November 28, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced the REAL PEACE Act, short for “Robocall Elimination At Last Protecting Every American Consumer’s Ears.” The goal of the legislation is to provide the Federal Trade Commission with the power to regulate companies that facilitate robocalls and, of particular importance, end the common carrier exemption in the Federal Trade Commission Act that purports to enable illegal robocalling.
With respect to the REAL PEACE Act, Sen. Feinstein noted in her official press release that, “[i]llegal robocalls are a nuisance to every person with a phone number” and “[t]echnology advances have helped robocallers hide their true identity and location, making it easier for them to relentlessly target and harass Americans. Our bill will close an FTC loophole so we can finally put illegal robocallers out of business.”
Relatedly, Sen. Blumenthal stated that “[t]his bill would close an outdated loophole that enables scammers and spammers to make intrusive and illegal robocalls to millions of unsuspecting American households, without suffering any consequences.” Further, Sen. Blumenthal offered that “[t]hese calls are not just unsolicited and disruptive—they are often dangerous and used to defraud consumers. Telecommunication companies should be doing everything they can to protect their customers from illegal robocalls. The REAL PEACE Act will give long neglected enforcement authority to the FTC that allows them to more aggressively crack down on these calls and finally hold bad actors accountable.”
Based on the comments surrounding the purpose of the REAL PEACE Act, it is clear that lawmakers—specifically, Democratic lawmakers—are focused on trying to find different ways to regulate “robocallers” generally, as well as expand regulatory oversight of various communications that are directed at consumers.