U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today praised the committee’s members for passing several bipartisan bills during the committee’s first markup of the 115th Congress. Thune’s MOBILE NOW Act – plus the Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act, which Thune cosponsored, and the Senior Fraud Protection Act – all passed the committee by voice vote and now head to the full Senate for consideration.
“The Commerce Committee is beginning the 115th Congress like it ended the 114th Congress – by passing common-sense, bipartisan legislation,” said Thune. “If the Senate passed just these three bills that the committee approved today, among many others, it could help lay the groundwork for the nationwide 5G network, improve call completion in rural parts of America, and protect senior citizens from fraud schemes. That would be a pretty good start to the year.”
The MOBILE NOW Act proposes reforms to boost the development of next-generation 5G wireless broadband by ensuring more spectrum is made available for commercial use and by reducing the red tape associated with building wireless networks. The version introduced by Thune and co-sponsored again by the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), closely follows legislation approved last Congress by the Commerce Committee by a voice vote.
Click here for the text of the MOBILE NOW Act.
Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act
The Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act, bipartisan legislation originally sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), would create a registry of intermediate providers, which are third-party companies that connect long distance calls between large, national providers and smaller, local providers, and require the Federal Communications Commission to establish service quality standards. The bill would also prohibit telephone carriers from using an intermediate provider that has not been registered. These measures would create greater accountability for intermediate providers and lead to a more efficient and effective delivery of long distance calls.
Click here for the text of the Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act.
Seniors Fraud Prevention Act
The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation originally sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) would create an advisory office within the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection to advise the commission on the prevention of fraud schemes that target senior citizens. This would be achieved by monitoring the market for specific fraud schemes aimed at seniors and coordinating with other agencies to provide consumer education materials to seniors and their caregivers. The bill would also require the FTC to work with the U.S. attorney general to establish procedures to log complaints regarding fraud that targets seniors.
Click here for the text of the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act of 2017.