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Goodbye, Ajit Pai. The Senate Should Reject Nathan Simington and Let the FCC Get Back To Work.

WASHINGTON - Today Ajit Pai, the most unpopular FCC Chairman in history, announced that he will be stepping down as President Trump’s term comes to an end. Digital rights group Fight for the Future, known for organizing the largest online protests in human history to oppose Pai’s repeal of net neutrality, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Deputy Director, Evan Greer (she/her):

“Ajit Pai will go down in history as one of the most corrupt government officials of the century. His callous attack on net neutrality and blatant coddling of Big Telecom monopolies sparked the largest cross-partisan online backlash in the modern era. As he fades into the background, his smug demeanor and giant Reese’s mug will become cautionary memes –– reminding Internet users what happens when we don’t hold our government accountable.

Pai’s departure cannot come soon enough. We are in the middle of a crushing pandemic. Hundreds of millions of people are working from home and sending their kids to school online. Comcast just announced plans to re-impose arbitrary data caps. Kids are sitting outside Taco Bell to do their homework. We desperately need a functional FCC that will quickly repair the damage done by Ajit Pai and get to work protecting the public from ISP abuses. 

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But in an unprecedented and deeply cynical move, the Senate has scheduled a confirmation vote this week on Nathan Simington, Trump’s nominee to join the commission. Simington’s involvement with Trump’s silly and blatantly unconstitutional executive order targeting Section 230 is alarming. And he has essentially no qualifications beyond his loyalty to an outgoing autocrat and stated opposition to restoring net neutrality. If the Senate confirms him, its sole purpose will be to throw sand in the gears, tying up the new FCC for months at a time when the public can’t afford the agency to be kneecapped. 

The Senate should reject Simington’s nomination and let the FCC get back to work. If they don’t, they’re not “owning the libs” or “sticking it to the Biden admin,” they’re just hurting working families, small businesses, and our children’s future.”

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