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US Senate Confirms FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for a Second Term


In a mostly party-line vote, the US Senate on October 2 confirmed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for a second term on the Commission. Pai would have had to leave the FCC at the end of the year, had he not been reconfirmed.

President Donald Trump nominated Pai for a new term in January; his previous term as a commissioner had expired on July 1, 2016, and his new term is retroactive to that date. FCC rules permitted him to remain until the end of 2016.

The final tally was 52-41, although he picked up votes from four Democratic senators.

“I am deeply grateful to the US Senate for confirming my nomination to serve a second term at the FCC and to President Trump for submitting that nomination to the Senate,” Pai said in a statement. “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.”

Pai has primarily drawn fire for his opposition to so-called “net neutrality” rules. All five members of the FCC must be confirmed by the Senate, but the president chooses which will serve as the chairman. 



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