It's official, President Donald Trumph has appointed FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai to serve as the new Chairman of the agency, replacing the departed Tom Wheeler. Pai takes over a shorthanded panel of three members, with he and Mike O'Rielly representing the Republican Party and Mignon Clyburn the sole Democrat.
Nominations to replace Wheeler and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel are yet to be announced. Pai's appointment, following a meeting with Trump last week and widespread reports of the pending move on Friday, does not need to be confirmed by the Senate since he is already serving on the panel.
Pai said, "I am deeply grateful to the President of the United States for designating me the 34th Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. I look forward to working with the new Administration, my colleagues at the Commission, members of Congress, and the American public to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans."
O'Rielly said, “I offer my sincere congratulations and best wishes to my friend and colleague, Commissioner Ajit Pai, for being designated as Chair of the FCC. His thoughtful approach, deep knowledge base, and sense of humor have been great assets to the Commission, and it makes sense that President Trump hand-picked him to carry out the new Administration’s broad vision for the agency. I know the Commission will thrive under his leadership, and I look forward to working with him and his team to tackle the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that will present themselves."
Clyburn said, “I congratulate Commissioner Ajit Pai on being named Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Ajit is bright, driven and committed to bringing connectivity to all Americans. I am hopeful that we can come together to serve the public interest by supporting competition, public safety, and consumer protection.” CMW