Sen. Wicker Praises Pai

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) took to the Senate floor Thursday (Sept. 28) in support of the nomination of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

That followed a number of Democrats over the past two days who have taken the opposite tack in floor speeches.

Wicker said that in nine short months, Pai had taken steps to keep the internet free and open for consumers, and would keep the "heavy hand of government away from the controls."

Related: Sen. Markey 'Slices' Up FCC's Pai

Wicker said he is working with Pai to help promote rural connectivity and that the FCC would be in good hands with Pai as its chairman.

"Mr. Pai has proven he is capable of being an exemplary FCC chairman," said Wicker. "He understands the strong connection between technology and innovation."

Wicker also said he hoped Pai would continue to hold the FCC to the highest standards of transparency, citing his decision to publish the draft texts of items before they were voted on.

The Senate will vote later today on closing debate on Pai's nomination, and subsequently on the nomination itself either Sept. 28 or Monday (Oct. 2).

Senate Republicans were said to have wanted to confirm Pai to a new, five-year term, before the Columbus Day (Oct. 9) break.

John Eggerton

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.