Capito, Wicker, Moran support reconfirmation of FCC Chairman Pai

Ajit Pai

The Senate on Monday voted to reconfirm Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai as a member of the FCC for a five-year term, with support from U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Jerry Moran (R-KS).

Pai, who was designated FCC chairman by President Donald Trump in January, earned Senate confirmation on a bipartisan vote of 52-41. Capito, Wicker and Moran were among the senators who hailed Pai’s efforts to expand broadband internet access in rural areas, to spur innovation and to provide regulatory relief.

Capito said Pai has worked with her on prioritizing the need to better connect West Virginia communities via broadband.

“He truly understands the need to bring more rural communities online and has shown a real commitment to closing the digital divide in America,” Capito said. “From starting a business to utilizing telemedicine, broadband is critical to strengthening our economy and providing important services to West Virginians, and I know Chairman Pai will continue to support and drive efforts to expand access to affordable high-speed internet.”

Wicker noted that Pai oversaw the adoption of the Mobility Fund Phase II rules that support universal mobile wireless services. He also has consulted experts on effective ways to deploy broadband, develop better networks, lower costs and remove regulatory burdens.

“Americans are being well served by a leader like Chairman Ajit Pai, who understands the strong connection between technology and innovation,” Wicker said. “Mr. Pai understands how high-speed Internet can revolutionize small businesses and benefit local economies. He understands the importance of consumer protections and has already instituted proposals and rules that would benefit public safety. I hope Mr. Pai will also continue to hold the FCC to the highest standards of transparency.”

Wicker also praised Pai’s decision to make proposals and orders open to public scrutiny prior to the commission’s vote on them.

Moran, meanwhile, noted that as a native Kansan, Pai understands the unique challenge facing rural parts of the country.

“He and I share a commitment to closing our nation’s digital divide, bringing rural communities into the digital fold so that millions more Americans have quality, reliable access to broadband and wireless connectivity,” Moran said.

Moran noted Pai’s extensive background. Pai served as law clerk for a federal judge, worked in the private sector and the U.S. Department of Justice, and held several roles at the FCC since 2007. Pai also served as commissioner of the FCC under the Obama administration beginning in 2012.

“… I know he will be a tireless advocate for rural America,” Moran added.