The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai for another five-year term on the telecommunications regulatory panel where he faces decisions over dismantling Obama-era internet protections and a major television station merger.
Pai won confirmation by 52-41 over objections from Democrats, who criticized him for moving to deregulate U.S. telecommunications rules. Republicans praised him for taking steps to boost rural internet service.
The former Justice Department, FCC and Capitol Hill staffer has been moving swiftly to undo many of the regulations adopted by the FCC during the Obama administration since assuming the chairmanship and vowed in December to take a “weed whacker” to unneeded rules.
Pai pledged in a statement on Monday to continue to focus “on bridging the digital divide, promoting innovation, protecting consumers and public safety, and making the FCC more open and transparent.”