Democrats did all they could.
By that we mean, they objected all they could to Ajit Pai’s FCC re-nomination.
But since the Republicans had Ajit Pai’s back, all of the Democratic efforts went to waste.
The United States Senate gave the Chairman of Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, an additional term.
He is likely to resume his work as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in the coming months and years.
Who should we thank for Ajit Pai’s re-nomination?
We’ll discuss that in a little bit.
First, let’s talk about something else.
We now know that Donald Trump had actually requested the Senate to give Ajit Pai just one more term.
A new term.
And as expected, the Senate approved the President of the United States of America’s request.
That meant one other thing:
Mainly that Ajit Pai would now NOT have to depart the Federal Communications Commission when the year 2017 would finally come to pass.
Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the FCC, is the same guy who wanted to deregulate broadband providers.
He also wanted to eliminate net neutrality rules.
And because of such “ideas”, Trump thoughts to himself to give Ajit Pae a new term.
The new term means that Ajit Pae will get to act as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission for another five years.
Of course, the new term is retroactive.
In other words, it would take effect from July 1, 2016.
This practically means that Ajit Pae will remain as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission for another four years.
How Did The Vote Go?
As usual, we saw a split vote.
And all members of the Senate decided to split along their party lines.
The Republicans, as expected, supported Ajit Pai’s re-nomination.
On the other hand, the Democrats opposed Ajit Pai’s re-nomination as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
What About The Actual Tally?
The actual tally of votes, in the end, came down to 52-41.
In other words, out of the 100 senators, only 93 voted.
If you want to know how each of the Senate members voted you can just click here to go to the official website of the US Senate.
Ajit Pai’s Votes?
We have already said that Ajit Pai “won” because of the Republicans.
But let’s get more specific with numbers.
Various media reports have confirmed that Ajit Pae managed to receive yes votes from a total of four Democrats and 48 Republicans.
You heard that right.
Some Democrats indeed helped Ajit Pae remain as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
Let’s take a look at the Democratic senators who assisted the FCC’s Ajit Pai to gain re-confirmation.
The Democratic senators who sided with Ajit Pai are as follows,
- Joseph Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia.
- Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri
- Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan
- Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana
You probably don’t need us to tell you where all the 41 other NO votes in the Senate came from?
They came from the rest of the Democratic senators.
But Ajit Pai’s re-nomination as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission didn’t go as smoothly as one would have hoped though.
In other words, it drew a petition, titled “fire Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai” from Free Press, a consumer advocacy group.
And of course, Democrats opposed the re-nomination of Ajit Pai as the Chairman of the FCC during the debate on the US Senate floor just last week as well.
Nelson, a Democratic Senator, said that the Federal Communications Commission always had the United States consumer’s back.
He said that the FCC had done its due work quite well during the recent Obama administration.
Readers should also now that Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, is a ranking member of the United States Senate Commerce COmmittee.
Bill Nelson also said that he always considered Ajit Pai as a vocal and overly partisan along with often hostile political opponent of pro-consumer steps that his colleagues took under the previous, Obama’s, administration.
And now that Ajit Pai has worked as the Chairman of the Federal COmmunications Commission for a considerable period of time, he has systematically undercut much, if not all, of the work that the Obama administration did in the last eight years before the Trump administration.
This is what Bill Nelson said if we believe an official transcript that his office provided to the media.
What Does Today’s Vote mean?
It means that Ajit Pai will continue to work as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission until at the very least, the final days of the current Trump administration.
That means, another full four-year term.
Readers should also know that the US Senate has to approve all the five commissioners.
But, in the end, it is the president who gets to decide which one of the five commissioners would serve as chair.
Just because Ajit Pai has successfully retained his Chairmanship at the Federal Communications Commission, doesn’t mean that he would have all of his previous team with him as well.
Of course, that is a possibility.
But it is not necessary that his entire team would serve him until 2021.
Because in the US, chairs usually leave the commission when the country’s presidency changes from one political party to another political party.
As we have mentioned before, Ajit Pai’s first term as the president of the Federal Communications Commission expired last year in June 2016.
So why didn’t he leave then?
Well, in the US, the Federal Communications Commission’s rules allowed Ajit Pai to stay as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission until the end of the year 2017.
The question of whether he would get the re-nomination does not hinder the FCC’s ability to do so.
Ajit Pai’s Response On The Re-nomination.
After the vote, Ajit Pai said that he felt deeply grateful to the United States Senate for confirming his nomination to serve an additional term at the Federal Communications Commission.
He also thanked President Trump for submitting his nomination to the US Senate.
Moreover, Ajit Pai said, since January of this year, the FCC has focused its efforts on bridging the country’s digital device.
He also said that the FCC promoted innovation and protected the consumers.
Under his chairmanship, the FCC also took care of issues such as public safety.
This effectively made the Federal Communications Commission more transparent and open.
Ajit Pai further added that after today’s vote, he looked forward to continuing his work along with his colleagues in order to advance the above-mentioned critical priorities for the future as well.
Ajit Pai Will No Doubt Choose Corporate Interests Over Consumers.
Bill Nelson seemed like he didn’t buy Ajit Pai’s speech for one bit.
In other words, he blasted the newly re-nominated chairman of the FCC.
He said that Pai made is harder for Americans with a low income to buy subsidized broadband servers.
How did Ajit Varadara Pai do that?
He did that by bringing in changes to the LifeLine program.
Nelson also said that Ajit Pai limited the amount of relevant information broadband subscribers received about their data caps and fees.
Moreover, Nelson blasted Ajit Pai for officially supporting the unfortunate rollback of consumer broadband privacy protections.
He also mentioned other anti-consumer policies that Ajit Pai supported during his first tenure.
Furthermore, Nelson said, Ajit Varadara Pai had acted in a strange way to protect consumers.
He acted as if the only way to improve broadband services in rural America was to lower its standards.
Nelson said that because of Ajit Pai, the FCC saddled the country’s most remote communities with worse service and slower speed.
We all know that Ajit Varadara Pai proposed to eliminate all the important net neutrality rules.
On that, Bill Nelson said that Ajit Pai wanted to revoke the essential consumer protections that they enjoyed on the internet before.
Senator Ed Markey a Democrat from Massachusetts said that at every turn, Ajit Varadara Pai, the Chairman of the FCC, chose corporate interests over the interests of the consumers.
According to a report on Broadcasting and Cable Ajit Pai ensured that the FCC stood for:
Forgetting COnsumers and Competition.
Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington DC said that Ajit Pae had comprehensively demonstrated a disdain to most important public interest principle that Ajit Varadara Pai was supposed to be upholding as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
Democrats And Their Response To Ajit Pai’s Re-Nomination.
Cantwell along with many other senators made a clear stance against Ajit Pai’s proposed net neutrality rules.
It is safe to say to that Ajit’s pro-corporation modifications to net neutrality rules formed the key part of all senators’ speeches who voted against Ajit Pai’s re-nomination.
Perhaps this is a good time to mention what Ajit Varadara Pai’s proposed changes meant for consumers and ISPs.
The first thing readers should understand is that current net neutrality rules are helpful towards consumers.
They help consumers by preventing internet service providers from throttling and/or blocking lawful internet content.
They also prohibit internet service providers from charging extra for websites and/or other online services.
This is what we usually call “prioritization”.
Net neutrality rules guard against such behavior.
Ajit Varadara Pai wants to do something else.
According to Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, Ajit Pai plans to blow up the country’s level playing field.
He said that this level playing field played a crucial role for free speech and innovation online.
Moreover, he said, the current level playing field also allowed startups to try and get up.
And then move out of garages and become the next versions of eBay, Google, and YouTube.
WHo Saved The Day For Ajit Varadara Pai? The Republicans.
The Republicans seem to have a clear idea of what they wanted to do on the day.
That is, to make you Ajit Pai got the re-nomination.
And that is exactly what they did.
It is for this reason why we say that the Democrats never really had a serious chance to block Ajit Varadaraj Pai’s renomination.
Republicans can always overpower Democrats via their sheer number, which currently stands at 52-48.
Add to that the fact that some Democrats also broke away from the rest of their party by siding with Ajit Varadaraj Pai.
Or supporting Ajit Varadaraj Pai, more appropriately.
Senator John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, and also the chair of the US Commerce Committee said in a debate on the Senate floor that Ajit Pai had already shown a commitment to ensuring openness and transparency at the commission.
He also said that fact gave him great confidence in Ajit Varadaraj Pai and the direction he would lead the FCC in.
And today Thune said the same thing again.
He praised Ajit Varadaraj Pai.
For the rollback of all important net neutrality rules.
Moreover, Thune said that the best way to ensure long-term protection for all internet users was for the Congress to pass that very crucial bipartisan legislation.
Senator Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi, said that Ajit Varadaraj Pai presented an exemplary Federal Communications Commission Chairman who would fight for underserved and unserved Americans.
Senator Roger Wicker also said that Ajit Pai had overseen the adoption of the very important Mobility Fund Phase II rules.
These rules supported universal service.
Moreover, Roger said, Ajit had also sought the advice of experts to gain an insight on the most effective broadband employment.
Additionally, Ajit Varadaraj Pai also encouraged the development of lower cost, better networks.
Ajit had also laid the foundations for relief from all nagging regulatory burdens.
Ajit Varadaraj Pai also managed to receive support from Verizon and other conservative think tanks.
These are the same organizations that employed Ajit Pai as an associate general counsel.
But that was back in 2001 (actually from 2001 to 2003) so who cares right?
Verizon Senior Vice President Will Johnson recently said in a statement that Chairman Ajit Pai had demonstrated a lot of commitment.
Commitment to what?
Commitment to the agency.
He also said that Ajit Varadaraj Pai has also shown a good bit of fidelity to the country’s law.
Will Johnson further added that as Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai had done a lot of good.
Good like what?
According to Will Johnson, Ajit Varadaraj Pai did good work like,
- Moving to address the country’s digital divide
- Responding to the country’s natural disasters
- Maintaining the country’s lead and innovation level in wireless technologies.
Ending his talk, Johnson further remarked that Ajit Pai had done more than enough to prove he had quality.
Johnson also added that Verizon hoped that the US Senate would soon confirm Ajit Pai’s renomination.
You would find it hard to argue the fact that the US doesn’t have the most advanced infrastructure.
There is a joke making the rounds on the internet that the US is saying welcome to the 20th-century infrastructure.
Regardless, it would be at least interesting to see the whole voting breakdown.
People should be able to know if their state representative voted for Ajit Pai or against him.
Some people would say that the only people who voted for Trump were either poor or dumb.
Of course, that is not true.
But if Trump voters don’t take kindly to the fact that Ajit would get to have the Chairmanship for four more years, then perhaps they shouldn’t have voted for Trump.