This past week, I participated in ACA International’s Fly-In to D.C. to visit with my State Representatives about H.R. 3035 (updates to the TCPA allowing the use of dialers when calling cell phones).
I must admit that I was slightly nervous. I’ve written them letters, emails and even made phone calls, but I’ve never sat in the office of one of my elected officials and talked with them face-to-face. I was pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable AND productive this activity was. Thank you to the ACA international staff for putting together a great event.
Utah Representatives: Unaware of H.R. 3035, but willing to learn. ACA International set up three visits for me. I first visited the office of Senator Orrin Hatch. I ended up spending about 40 minutes with one of Senator Hatch’s staff members. He was not aware of H.R. 3035, so he gave me time to explain why this bill is important to our industry and my personal business.
Unfamiliarity with the bill seemed to be the norm. At Senator Mike Lee’s office, I discovered that they too were unaware of H.R. 3035, so again I spent about 45 minutes discussing why this bill is so critical to our market. Senator Lee was in his office and took the time to shake my hand and ask about the purpose of my visit.
My last appointment was with the office of Representative Jason Chaffetz. I was surprised that the Chaffetz staff was also unfamiliar with this bill. I figured since it was a House bill they would have been briefed on its details. That being said, this bill is very new, so not much info has been communicated yet.
The staff of Senators Hatch and Lee were keenly interested and responded very positively to the bill. They seemed to quickly grasp the need to update the antiquated TCPA. Representative Chaffetz’ staff, while friendly, seemed a little less enthusiastic about modernizing the antiquated law. However, I do feel that they will all study the bill carefully before deciding upon whether to support it or not.
H.R. 3035 hearing: Promising feedback. Friday morning, I attended the first hearing on H.R. 3035, conducted by the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Approximately 16 Representatives were in attendance and listened to the witnesses and asked questions.
I got the feeling that most Representatives in attendance understand the need to push H.R. 3035 forward. There were the normal concerns with making changes to an old law, but the prevailing attitude seemed to be one of cooperation and finding a way to modernize the law with new technologies and consumer trends.
I was able to sit next to the CEO of ACA International, Patrick Morris. We discussed dialers, the industry and this bill. While he is new to our industry, I found Patrick already engaged in positively promoting our industry.
It is critical to communicate your support of this bill to your own State Representatives in D.C. The consumer protection groups object to the bill and we know they will be communicating their desires. Don’t just take for granted that your Representatives will know why this bill is critical to our industry. Let’s make sure our voices are heard more loudly than those opposed to our industry. Let’s pull together and get H.R. 3035 passed!
This article was written by Dave R