There’s one issue that is likely to unite Congress before the end of the year: tackling the robocall epidemic plaguing phones of lawmakers and constituents alike. House and Senate lawmakers released text Wednesday of a bipartisan compromise measure that merges the House and Senate versions passed earlier this year.
The joint bill will require phone companies to verify that phone numbers are real and block robocalls without charging consumers any extra money. The measure also pushes the Justice Department to bring more criminal prosecutions against robocallers and gives the Federal Communications Commission more time and authority to investigate and punish illegal robocallers.
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., and Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., a top member of the Senate Commerce Committee, took the lead on the compromise bill, which bears their names, and hope to send the bill to President Donald Trump’s desk by 2020.
Lawmakers announced that a deal was reached earlier this month, but the final compromise legislation was not released until Wednesday.