Let the market decide. Some companies provide that service already, and others don't. If you want to be able to disable a stolen phone, sign up with a company that provides that service. If you don't care, choose any phone service you want. My guess is that if enough people ask their cell phone carrier if they have this service, or better yet, ask before signing a contract with anyone, all carriers will eventually offer the remote deactivation service.
The Smartphone Theft Prevention Act would require all phones sold in the United States to include kill switch type technology free of charge that would allow the consumer to wipe their personal data off the phone, render the phone permanently inoperable to anyone but the owner, and prevent it from being reactivated on a network by anyone but the owner. More: klobuchar.senate.gov.
Reporting to your phone company that the phone is stolen can take it out of service.
Many already have this ability, some telecoms are dragging their feet, that's what should be fixed.
The government doesn't want this for theft prevention, they want it for crowd control and to be able to target anybody they don't like.
I support the idea behind this bill/law, but don't think it should be a congressional matter... unless of course some congressman's, or congresswoman's, son or daughter has had their phone boosted at school, in which case, by all means, let's make this a matter of national urgency.
Realistically this bill has both advantages and disadvantages as it could help many keep their information safe, but it could also be quite a hassle if the owner accidentally activates said "kill-switch" technology and wipes their phone.