FCC commissioner Brendan Carr is urging Congress to confirm fellow Republican and FCC commissioner nominee Nathan Simington so they can stall the Democratic FCC out of the gate.
In an appearance on Fox Business' Cavuto Coast-to-Coast, Carr said: "I think it would be very valuable to get Simington across the finish line and help forestall what really would be billions of dollars worth of economic damage that I think a Democratic FCC would look to jam through from Day One.
One thing a Democratic FCC is expected to do is restore net neutrality rules, which Carr called "socialism in sheep's clothing."
If Simington is seated, replacing outgoing commissioner Michael O'Rielly, it would still give the FCC two Republican commissioners after chairman Ajit Pai leaves Jan. 20, as he has said he will. The Democrats will have two commissioners as well, the chairman or acting chairman, likely Jessica Rosenworcel, and Geoffrey Starks. It will likely take a while to confirm a third Democrat since that will require vetting by the Senate, which may still be in Republican hands.
Cavuto asked Carr to weigh in on the President's threat to veto a must-pass defense authorization bill because it does not include an amendment eliminating social media's Sec. 230 immunity from civil liability for third party content moderation.
Carr said he had no thoughts on the vehicle, but said the President was "exactly right" that Big Tech "has a far left agenda and are willing to use their content moderation on these web sites to take action against conservative ideas."
Carr said he was very concerned about the massive power of Big Tech and said he expected bipartisan pushback. He pointed out that President-elect Joe Biden has also called for eliminating Sec. 230 immunity.
The smarter way to stay on top of the multichannel video marketplace. Sign up below.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.