FCC Chairman Pai Defends Mozilla Decision Comment Release

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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai pushed back hard against suggestions by fellow-FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel that he was playing "hide the ball" with the way the FCC issues its request for comment on the remand of some of its net neutrality dereg order. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), citing a 2010 law requiring federal agencies to communicate in "plain language" the public can understand, pointed to the headline on the FCC's request for comment on a federal court's directive to better address the FCC net neutrality deregulation on public safety, the regulation of pole attachments, and its Lifeline broadband/phone subsidy program. That headline: "WCB6 Comment on Discreet Issues Arising from Mozilla Decision." Rep Bishop said the headline didn't seem to be plain language and he didn't have any idea what the FCC was requesting comment on, while Commissioner Rosenworcel called it "hiding the ball" from the American public. 

Chairman Pai countered that the language came from career staffers. He said "one could always take a shot from the peanut gallery along those lines," apparently putting Commissioner Rosenworcel rather than Rep Bishop in that gallery. He suggested that the headline was something that had been delegated. He said when you have the responsibility of running an agency, when responding to a remand on particular, discreet issues, "I rely not on political judgments but on the judgment of our career staff in the office of general counsel and the Wireline Competition Bureau." He said it had been drafted to respond to those particular issues that was what they had approved and he wasn't going to second guess them. 

Pai Defends Mozilla Decision Comment Release