Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are taking an "all-hands-on-deck approach" to stop the surge in robocalls that plague Americans and their phones.
The New York Times reported that there are several ongoing bipartisan efforts aimed at reducing or stopping the practice of robocalling, which often ends up being scammers trying to steal someone's money or even their identity.
According to the report, Americans received 48 billion robocalls in 2018. By the end of this year, the Times notes, robocalls will make up nearly half of all phone calls received in the United States.
Republicans and Democrats said they hear from constituents all the time about robocalls and what Congress can do to stop them.
"Whenever people come up to me at home, there's two things they tell me," Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., told the Times. "They say, 'Support the president.' The second thing they say is, 'When are you going to do something about these robocalls?'"
Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said he is working on legislation that would both punish robocallers trying to scam people and force phone providers to display and verify the phone number of a caller.
"There's no silver bullet," Pallone said. "That's why it is so important that we address this problem from every side."
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., noted that constituents across the country are sick and tired of being bothered by phone scammers.
"They've rightfully had it, and we've had it," Walden said. "So you're seeing an all-hands-on-deck approach."
Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai said in February that his agency is working to take action against robocallers by way of rules and regulations.
The Pew Research Center, meanwhile, believes that the rise in robocalls is impacting its business because fewer people are answering their phones.
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