- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

President Trump is naming Republican Ajit Pai, a foe of the Obama administration’s “net neutrality” rules, to become chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Mr. Pai, a Republican commissioner for the agency since 2012, confirmed the move in a statement Monday.

“I am deeply grateful to the president of the United States for designating me the 34th Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission,” Mr. Pai said. “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.”

He will replace Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler, and Republicans will have a majority on the commission under Mr. Trump.

Mr. Pai has opposed Mr. Wheeler’s net neutrality rules, saying the policy would lead to “utility-style regulation,” new taxes and less consumer choice. He is likely to review the policy.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden, Oregon Republican, and Communications and Technology subcommittee Chairwoman Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, said Mr. Pai “has served with great distinction as a Commissioner over the past four and a half years, and has demonstrated that he is highly qualified to lead the commission.”

Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, called the selection “a welcome sign of change that shows a long-overdue turnaround at the FCC is now ensured in our new administration.”

“I look forward to working with him on solutions that will encourage investment, promote consumer choice, foster innovation and bring fresh thinking that will encourage creative disruption across the FCC’s broad jurisdiction,” Mr. Issa said.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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