Senators continue to sign on to the TRACED Act, S. 151, in the aftermath of its approval by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. As approved by the Committee, the bill has now garnered a total of seventy-one supporters, exceeding two-thirds of the Senate membership. Of the recent Senators to join the TRACED Act train, the Minority Leader, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is included. Before action on the Senate floor, the Commerce Committee must complete and release its report on the approved bill. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office must score the cost of the bill. Reportedly, Senator John Thune (R-SD) hopes to hotline the bill so that it can be approved by unanimous consent. As the number of supporters mounts, including the Democratic leadership of the Senate, prospects for such expeditious approval improve.
Senate interest in the robocall issue remains high. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons heard more about it yesterday when testifying on their respective budgets before the US Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), who chairs the Subcommittee, was among several members who questioned both witnesses about what was being done to combat illegal robocalls.
On the other side of the Capitol, the House of Representatives version of the TRACED Act, H.R. 2015, is gaining support. Introduced by Congressman David Kustoff (R-TN) on April 1, the bill now has a dozen supporters. It is among a number of Telephone Consumer Protection Act -related bills now before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Next step there would be a markup session addressing these various initiatives.