Shortly after the election, it appeared that Republicans in the Senate hoped to gum up the Federal Communications Commission and potentially block Biden from filling it out. In early December, the Senate rammed through the nomination of Nathan Simington, a person handpicked by President Donald Trump to serve on the FCC whose selection
It would certainly make sense for me to use today’s platform to detail all the ways that we have cleared out the Federal Communications Commission’s regulatory underbrush since I spoke to Free State one month before taking this position. But I’d like to go in a less obvious direction. Instead, I’d like to lay out my theory for good governance and how the reforms we’ve made since January 2017 have fundamentally transformed the agency’s operations for the better. Along the way, I’ve picked up a few lessons about what I believe to be the keys to effective governance.
Georgia's election results handing Senate control to Democratic lawmakers mean the incoming Biden administration can fill key seats at the agencies that regulate tech.
- Net Neutrality: A Democratic Federal Communications Commission will likely first move to reclassify broadband as a service under Title II of the Communications Act. That will allow it to restore rules requiring Internet service providers to treat all internet traffic equally, and take other actions to regulate broadband providers’ business practices amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Facebook told lawmakers it blocked or removed 265,000 posts for violating the social network’s policies against voter interference and rejected 3.3 million ad submissions as part of its effort to protect the recent US elections against misinformation and foreign influence. The action was cited in a 22-page report summarizing the company’s election work that was distributed Dec 18 to a wide array of members of Congress as well as officials in the outgoing Trump administration and incoming team of President-elect Joe Biden.
Kamala Harris should be the de facto secretary of rural development, in charge of closing the connectivity gap
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is too smart and energetic to be just the vice president, a position with few official responsibilities.
Despite having many fewer followers and much less engagement on social media than President Donald Trump, Joe Biden's campaign raised record amounts of money and ultimately neutralized Trump’s vaunted “Death Star” — the name his erstwhile campaign manager, Brad Parscale, gave to the campaign’s digital operation. Figuring out whether any particular online strategy decisively moved the needle for President-elect Biden is probably impossible. Offline factors, such as Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic and the economic devastation it has caused, undoubtedly played a major role.
Now that Democrats are taking over the executive branch, expect Congressional Republicans to shift gears on tech policy. Instead of trying to rewrite key internet legislation, the GOP will likely focus instead on stopping Democrats from doing anything at all. A prime example of this dynamic is the maneuvering around the Federal Communications Commission.
House Republicans tapped Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) to lead the party on the House Commerce Committee, making her the first woman to hold a leadership role at the committee that has sweeping authority over the nation’s health care, technology, environmental and energy policy. Ranking Member McMorris Rodgers beat Reps. Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Bob Latta (R-OH) to win the position. Rep McMorris Rodgers will replace retiring Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR).
Republican lawmakers vying for the prized ranking member role on the House Commerce Committee will make their case to the Republican Steering Committee, with a decision expected Dec 2.