Congress - Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) introduced the “Robo Calls Off Phones Act” or “RoboCOP Act” (H.R. 116), which would add “politically-oriented recorded message calls” to the existing restrictions on telemarketing sales calls to residential and cellular lines listed in the federal Do Not Call registry. The Act defines “politically-oriented recorded message telephone call” as any outbound telephone call with a recorded message “whose purpose is to promote, advertise, campaign or solicit donations for or against any political candidate or regarding any political issue, or uses in the recorded message any political candidate's name.”

Since the definition's inclusion of calls that use “any political candidate's name” would inadvertently entrap some automated public opinion polling, MRA will continue to attempt to educate Rep. Foxx on the difference between political advocacy calls and legitimate survey research, and to help her refine her definition so as not to impede the efforts of the research profession.

MRA has met with Rep. Foxx's staff on this bill in past Congresses and will continue the dialogue.