Ajit Pai urged to accept Trump loss and stop controversial rulemakings

All five FCC commissioners sitting at a table in front of microphones at a congressional hearing.
Enlarge / From left to proper, Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and commissioners Michael O’Rielly, Brendan Carr, Jessica Rosenworcel, and Geoffrey Starks testify earlier than the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee on December 05, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla

Congressional Democrats yesterday known as on Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to “immediately stop work on all partisan, controversial items” in recognition of Joe Biden’s election victory over President Donald Trump.

It has been commonplace observe to halt controversial rulemakings within the interval between an election and inauguration when management of the White House switches from Republicans to Democrats or vice versa. In November 2016, Pai himself known as on then-Chairman Tom Wheeler to “halt further action on controversial items during the transition period.” Wheeler complied in the future later.

But issues could possibly be completely different this time, as a result of Trump is contesting the election regardless of Biden’s clear victory and making baseless allegations that the election was stolen by Democrats. The Trump administration has refused to formally start the presidential transition and has reportedly continued finances planning and vetting candidates for job openings as if there shall be a second Trump time period. To adjust to Democrats’ request to the FCC, Pai would successfully have to concede Trump’s defeat earlier than Trump himself does so.

We contacted Pai’s workplace at the moment and will replace this text if we get a response.

FCC management will “undoubtedly” change

“With the results of the 2020 presidential election now apparent, leadership of the FCC will undoubtedly be changing,” Pai was instructed yesterday in a letter from House Democrats, particularly Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.). “As a traditional part of the peaceful transfer of power—and as part of our oversight responsibilities—we strongly urge the agency to only pursue consensus and administrative matters that are non-partisan for the remainder of your tenure.”

Pallone and Doyle continued:

We notice that you’ve got beforehand welcomed calls from congressional leaders for the FCC to “halt further action on controversial items during the transition period.” We hope you’ll respect this time-honored custom now. There are undoubtedly plenty of consensus issues on which the Commission should focus to appropriately perform its mission on behalf of the general public, and we urge you to take fast motion on such objects.

Controversial, partisan objects would come with Pai’s proposal to assist Trump impose a crackdown on Twitter and Facebook, which have been making an attempt to counter Trump’s makes an attempt to unfold misinformation on their platforms.

“When I was at FCC, our pencils went down quickly. Will that happen here?” Gigi Sohn, who was a counselor to Wheeler throughout the Obama administration, tweeted yesterday. Once he’s president, Biden shall be ready to appoint a brand new FCC chair and kind a Democratic majority. Pai would probably resign from the fee when the transition occurs.

FCC Democrats agree

Both Democratic commissioners on the FCC urged Pai to respect the House Democrats’ request for the transition interval.

“Historically, the FCC has honored the transfer of power from one Administration to the next by pausing any controversial activity,” Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel wrote. “I urge FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to follow this past practice in order to ensure an orderly transition of agency affairs. I look forward to continuing to work on the routine and consensus matters currently before the agency.”

FCC Democrat Geoffrey Starks issued an analogous assertion:

As two of my Republican colleagues noticed in 2016, it’s long-standing Commission observe that, upon a presidential transition, the company suspends its consideration of any partisan, controversial objects till the transition interval is full. Our congressional leaders have known as for Chairman Pai to respect this precedent, and I count on that he’ll abide by their request.

House Democrats made a related request of FTC Chairman Joseph Simons yesterday. We contacted the FTC concerning the request to stop controversial work and will replace this text if we get a response.

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