×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

President Trump Renominates Ajit Pai for New FCC Term

President Trump is renominating Ajit Pai for another term at the FCC, giving a boost to the FCC chairman seven weeks after elevating him to the top post at the agency, according to industry sources.

“I am deeply honored to have been nominated by President Trump to serve a second term on the Federal Communications Commission,” Pai said in a statement.  “If I am fortunate to be confirmed by the Senate, I will continue to work with my colleagues to connect all Americans with digital opportunity, foster innovation, protect consumers, promote public safety, and make the FCC more open and transparent to the American people.”

Trump and Pai met at the White House on Monday for a meeting that was closed to the press, although an FCC official said that no pending business before the agency was discussed.

The speculation, though, was the topic of Pai’s reappointment was on the agenda. Pai was confirmed to serve as an FCC commissioner in 2012, and Trump elevated him to chair the agency in January.

But Pai’s tenure on the commission was set to expire later this year. With his renomination, he will now face Senate confirmation for another 5-year term.

The FCC currently has a 2-1 split, with Republicans commanding a majority. Pai in his first weeks has carried out an agenda of rolling back some Obama-era regulations, including aspects of privacy rules. He also has expressed his dislike of net neutrality rules passed in 2015, although he has yet to unveil any plan toward repealing it. Pai has said that he is not opposed to any regulation when it comes to the open internet, but has characterized the current approach as heavy handed. In a speech last week, he called the FCC’s current rules a “mistake.”‘

Word of Pai’s renomination drew praise from industry representatives.

“Charter congratulates Chairman Pai on his renomination to the FCC. As Chairman, he has already put points on the board on behalf of consumers including by increasing regulatory transparency and prioritizing rural broadband deployment,” said Catherine Bohigian, executive vice president of government affairs for Charter Communications. “Chairman Pai understands that regulatory stability allows businesses to grow and create jobs, spurs innovation and strengthens our economy all in the public interest.”

Michael Powell, president and CEO of NCTA — The Internet and Television Assn., said, “In just a few short months, Chairman Pai has embarked on a thoughtful, pro-consumer agenda that focuses on promoting Internet freedom and expanding the benefits of broadband to all Americans.” Powell is a former chairman of the FCC under President George W. Bush.

Pai is scheduled to appear on Wednesday before a Senate committee with oversight over the FCC. Another hearing had been planned before a House committee, but that has been postponed.

Trump still has two vacancies to fill, and that may be an issue when it comes to Democratic support for Pai’s renomination.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet. said that they are “still waiting for the renomination of Commissioner Rosenworcel, and that will determine how I and other Democrats on the committee are likely to handle all nominations including Chairman Pai’s.”

Rosenworcel served on the FCC since 2012, but was forced to vacate her position at the end of 2016 after Senate Republican leadership failed to move her renomination to the floor. In his last weeks in office, President Barack Obama sent her nomination to the Senate again, but Trump rescinded that last week.

No more than three commissioners from the same party can serve on the FCC.

 

More Biz

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein Hires New Lawyers Who Repped Kobe Bryant and Rose McGowan

    Harvey Weinstein has hired a new legal team to handle his rape and sexual assault case in New York, including attorneys who represented one of his most prominent accusers, actress Rose McGowan. Weinstein has hired Jose Baez and Ronald Sullivan, of the Baez Law Firm in Miami; Pamela Mackey of Denver, Colo.; and Duncan Levin, [...]

  • Bryan Singer: New Allegations of Sex

    Bryan Singer Hit With Fresh Allegations of Sex With Underage Boys

    UPDATED: Bryan Singer, the director of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” has responded to new allegations published in the Atlantic on Wednesday that he engaged in sexual misconduct with underage boys. In the report, four men allege that Singer had sexual encounters with them when they were teenagers in the late 1990s. One of the men, Victor Valdovinos, [...]

  • 'Zootopia' Land Coming to Shanghai Disneyland

    Disney to Open 'Zootopia' Land at Shanghai Theme Park

    The Shanghai Disneyland theme park is to be expanded with the construction of a themed land based on the “Zootopia” animated film and its characters. It will be the first “Zootopia” land at any Disney park worldwide. “The rapid rate of expansion at Shanghai Disney Resort demonstrates our confidence and commitment to the company’s future [...]

  • David Glasser

    David Glasser to Launch $300 Million Shingle With Ron Burkle's Backing (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Glasser, the former chief operating officer of the Weinstein Co., is launching a $300 million film and TV company with the backing of billionaire investor Ron Burkle, Variety has learned. The formation of the production outfit, named 101 Studios, marks a fresh start for Glasser, who was in line to become CEO of the [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein arrives at New York

    Judge Refuses to Pause Weinstein Class Action Case

    A judge on Tuesday denied Harvey Weinstein’s request to put a class action lawsuit on hold pending the outcome of his criminal trial. Ten women have sued Weinstein in federal court in the Southern District of New York, accusing him of violating the federal sex trafficking statute. The suit also alleges that an array of [...]

  • Andrea Ganis Promoted to President of

    Atlantic Records Elevates Andrea Ganis to President of Promotion

    Andrea Ganis has been promoted to the newly created position of president of promotion for Atlantic Records, it was announced today by Atlantic Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald and Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. In her new role, she will continue to oversee all promotion activities for Atlantic and its subsidiary labels while serving on [...]

  • Roma

    Netflix Joins the Motion Picture Association of America

    UPDATED WASHINGTON — Netflix has joined the Motion Picture Association of America, a move that reflects its evolution as a major player in the movie business. The MPAA currently has six major studios as members, and it collected about $38 million in membership dues in 2017, according to its most recent filing with the IRS. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content