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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2011
McKenna thanks Congress for unplugging robo-call bill

OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna is celebrating the withdrawal of the “Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011” [H.R. 3035], which would have opened up mobile phones to robo-calls from businesses, whether consumers wanted to receive those calls or not.

“My thanks go to Congress for listening to the 54 state attorneys general who joined together to stand up for the privacy rights of consumers,” McKenna said. “Washington state maintains strong protections against unwanted robo-calls from businesses. Such protections were threatened by the federal bill. Thankfully, that threat is now gone. State attorneys general will continue to work together to protect the rights — and the pocketbooks — of consumers.”

On Dec. 7, Attorney General McKenna joined 53 other attorneys general in asking Congress to oppose legislation targeting consumers’ telephone privacy. The federal bill would have amended the Communications Act of 1934 to allow for robo-calling to cell phones, forcing consumers to pay associated per-minute charges. For example, debt collectors and other businesses could place automated “informational” calls to cell phones, impacting those who pay by the minute or have a limited number of available minutes.

On Wednesday, the bill’s sponsor sent a letter to the chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, asking for the legislation to be pulled.

McKenna added that in a time of polarized politics, state attorneys general continue to work across party lines to solve problems. “When we work together, on behalf of the citizens of our states, state attorneys general generate tremendous results.”

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Contacts:
Janelle Guthrie, Director of Communications, (360) 586-0725

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