I welcome the letter from Chairman Pallone and Chairman Doyle. Historically, the [Federal Communications Commission] has honored the transfer of power from one Administration to the next by pausing any controversial activity. I urge FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to follow this past practice in order to ensure an orderly transition of agency affairs. I look forward to continuing to work on the routine and consensus matters currently before the agency.
As two of my Republican colleagues observed in 2016, it is long-standing Federal Communications Commission practice that, upon a presidential transition, the agency suspends its consideration of any partisan, controversial items until the transition period is complete. Our congressional leaders have called for Chairman Pai to respect this precedent, and I expect that he will abide by their request.
Even as the Trump administration blocks his access to the government, President-elect Joe Biden forged ahead with a key milestone in the transition of power, naming teams that will begin gathering information about federal operations. Biden’s transition team has assembled a list of 500 experts in federal policy from diplomacy to space exploration who will form the backbone of his preparations to lead the federal government in January, learning from the workforce what to expect at every agency on personnel, technology, policy and program matters. Geovette Washington will head the transition
House Democrats Demand Trump FCC and FTC Stop Work on Controversial Items in Light of Election Results
House Commerce Committee leaders wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons demanding that the two commissions stop work on all partisan or controversial items currently under consideration in light of the results of the presidential election. “We note that you have previously welcomed calls from congressional leaders for the FCC to ‘halt further action on controversial items during the transition period.’ We hope you will respect this time-honored tradition now.”
A Q&A with former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. He says one major issue for the Biden FCC will likely be restoring Obama-era net neutrality rules that required internet service providers to offer equal access to content on the web. Current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai reversed those rules in 2017. President-elect Joe Biden will prioritize more spending on broadband infrastructure.
The first 100 days of a new Administration and new Congress are critical to charting a clear, bipartisan course for our nation’s policy agenda. From COVID relief to budget decisions, take bold and decisive action to finish the job of connecting every American home, business and anchor institution to U.S. broadband infrastructure. Particularly amid a global pandemic, the fact that an estimated 18 million American homes do not have broadband access is unacceptable.
Technological innovation has long been and will continue to be critically important to per-capita income growth, economic competitiveness, and national security. So it is important to examine President-elect Joe Biden’s policy agenda through that lens. This report compiles information from the president-elect’s campaign website and policy documents, from the Democratic Party platform, and from media accounts of statements he has made.
While it is not out of the question that California’s tough privacy law plus follow-up action by other states could encourage Congress to enact legislation, working out issues regarding the right to sue and state preemption controversies would be easier with a Democratic President, House, and Senate than divided party control. In the latter situation, Joe Biden would have to find a few Senators willing to buck their party and vote with him to resolve those issues. Such a coalition could happen, but these kinds of negotiations always are lengthy and complicated.
Confronting the Biden transition are five existential crises. The pandemic is surging. The economy is stalling. Social justice is faltering. Climate change is on a rampage. And the government that is essential to dealing with each of these problems has been hollowed out by four years of constant attacks. And, oh yes, these issues must be dealt with despite a potentially divided government and deeply divided citizenry. As a tech policy wonk, I am often asked, “How will the Biden transition handle tech policy?” It is the wrong question.
If Democrats win a majority of Senate seats, it would give regulatory-minded congressional Democrats the ability to put an end to the legal wrangling over a neutral internet, impose tougher new privacy laws or pass their version of social media regulation. With Republicans holding onto the Senate, there would be no legislation reclassifying internet access as a Title I telecommunications service subject to mandatory access and potentially rate regulation.