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Senators Warn Telecom Lobbyists Against Obstructing Hotline

July 15, 2021, 9:18 PM

Democratic senators are accusing telecom’s lobbying arm of obstructing Congress’ efforts to establish a three-digit code for a suicide prevention hotline by pressuring state legislatures to explore fewer fees that could be collected to support the hotline.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and his colleagues, Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), on Thursday sent Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association President Meredith Attwell Baker a letter, urging CTIA to “rethink its efforts” around state-level implementation of the National Suicide Designation Act.

Congress in that law established a three-digit code—988—for callers to easily reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. ...