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Local

Underwood's bill to combat robocalls passes House of Representatives

Lauren Underwood
Lauren Underwood

A bill to combat unwanted robocalls that was supported by U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, H.R. 3375, passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support and only three votes against it. The bill came about as an estimated 47.8 billion robocalls were placed nationwide last year, an increase of 17 billion calls over previous years, according to a news release.

"Robocalls aren't just annoying — they can be dangerous," Underwood said in the release. "They're used by fraudsters and unscrupulous debt collectors to scare hard-working Americans into falling for their scams."

Underwood spoke on the House floor about the bill and said that so far in 2019, the average American has received 64 robocalls and that half of all calls to cell phones nationwide are robocalls. She added that a meeting with her staff about the bill was "literally interrupted by two different robocalls."

She said the bill will strengthen enforcement against scammers and ensure consumers can block calls at no extra charge. The bill would also require the Federal Communications Commission to establish a hospital robocall working group to ensure robocalls don't interrupt the work of health care providers.

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