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Congressman Garret Graves

Representing the 6th District of Louisiana

Graves, Crist Team Up to Take On Spam Calls

January 24, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Representatives Garret Graves (R-LA), Charlie Crist (D-FL), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), and Walter Jones (R-NC) are teaming up to take on spam phone calls, introducing the bipartisan Spam Calls Task Force Act this week. The bill would force a focused, interagency effort to find a solution to this growing problem.

"The recent explosion of spam calls is completely out of hand, and it needs to stop," said Rep. Graves. "Wasting people’s time and disrupting their lives isn’t marketing – it’s an invasion of privacy."

"Night and day, Americans are being inundated by spam calls. It's more than an annoyance – it's an invasion of privacy being used to deceive and take advantage of unsuspecting victims," said Rep. Crist.  "Working together across the aisle and across agencies, we can better protect the people from this predatory practice."

"When unsolicited calls turn to a form of harassment and put basic communications in jeopardy, citizens need relief,” said Rep. Cartwright. "This bill jumpstarts the relief process."

"This intrusive practice is an invasion of privacy. Our citizens should be able to answer their phones expecting a loved one or an acquaintance, not a spam caller. This bill is the first step in finding a solution to this growing problem," said Rep. Jones.

Background on the Spam Calls Task Force Act:

The legislation directs the Attorney General to 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.