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Ajit Pai confirmed by Senate for second term at FCC

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Ajit Pai

Ajit Pai

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the second five-year term.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the second five-year term.

The 44-year-old was confirmed with a 52-41 vote to remain the Federal Communications Commission chair. Pai’s confirmation did not come without backlash form some legislators.

Ina  statement from the FCC, Pai says: “I am deeply grateful to the U.S. Senate for confirming my nomination to serve a second term at the FCC and to President Trump for submitting that nomination to the Senate.  Since January, the Commission has focused on bridging the digital divide, promoting innovation, protecting consumers and public safety, and making the FCC more open and transparent.  With today’s vote, I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to advance these critical priorities in the time to come.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer alleged that during his tenure as acting FCC Chairman, Pai established a clear record of favoring big corporations at the expense of consumers, innovators and small businesses. He alleges Pai supported Congressional attempts to reverse the FCC’s 2016 broadband privacy rule, which would have prevented big cable and internet companies from profiting off of personal internet data.

 “Most disturbingly, Pai is currently attempting to dismantle the Open Internet Order, the net neutrality rules under which millions of consumers currently have access to a free and open internet,” Schumer said.

“Since January, the Commission has focused on bridging the digital divide, promoting innovation, protecting consumers and public safety, and making the FCC more open and transparent,” Pai responded. Republican Senator Roger Wicker defended Pai, saying he is “working to establish the light-touch regulatory framework that allowed the internet to become the marvel of the modern age, keeping it free and open for consumers, innovators and providers. Internet technology will continue to thrive if we keep the heavy hand of government away from the controls.”

Senator John Thune, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said, “In recent weeks, Pai has worked tirelessly to help ensure communications services are restored to the communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.”

“Pai understands communications policy from just about every angle – no wonder, given his deep and impressive resume,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

President Trump named Pai acting Chairman of Federal Communications shortly after taking office.

Pai was previously Commissioner at FCC. Appointed by President Barack Obama, Pai was confirmed unanimously by the Senate in May 2012.

Before joining FCC, Pai was a Partner at Jenner & Block, LLP and Deputy General Counsel, Associate General Counsel, and Special Advisor to the General Counsel at the FCC.

Pai grew up in Kansas.His educational background includes honors from Harvard University (1994) and University of Chicago Law School 1997) where he was an editor of the University of Chicago Law Review and won the Thomas R Mulroy Prize.

The FCC is an independent agency created by Congressional statute to regulate interstate communications in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

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