House Bill Calls for U.S. Call Centers


August 16, 2013

A toll-free call center connection to someone in India has been a punchline for comedians and TV sitcoms for years, but for the thousands of Americans who have lost their jobs in call centers, outsourcing is no laughing matter.


But proposed legislation introduced this month in the House of Representative would give consumers the choice of using a U.S.-based call center and ending federal subsidies for companies that send jobs offshore.  

The “Press 1 for America” bill would require call center workers to identify which country they are from and give customers the option of speaking to a U.S.-based employee. It would also require companies that outsource call center jobs to be placed on a public list, with outsourcing corporations ineligible for federal loans or subsidies.

“Companies that choose to outsource American call center jobs overseas should forfeit their eligibility for federal financial assistance – it’s that simple,” said co-sponsor Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.).

The legislation has drawn support from both sides of the aisle.

“My No. 1 priority in Congress is West Virginia jobs, and this bill could help save thousands of them,” says sponsor Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.).

Tens of thousands of good-paying call center jobs have been outsourced to India, the Philippines and numerous other low-wage countries in the last decade. Despite the practice’s popularity with many corporations, outsourcing has led to high levels of dissatisfaction from consumers who are often unable to communicate with some employees, resulting in some companies bringing the work back to America.

Click here to take action and find out if your representative supports “Press 1 for America.”


House used under a Creative Commons License from Flickr user Pinprick.