FCC chairman Ajit Pai nominated for another term

The well-known net neutrality opponent has served the commission since 2012.

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Eric Gaillard / Reuters
Eric Gaillard / Reuters

President Donald Trump has officially nominated current FCC Chairman and net neutrality opponent Ajit Pai for another five-year term on the commission, Axios reported on Tuesday. Pai's first term officially ended on July 1, 2016, but FCC commissioners are allowed to continue working for the agency for up to a year, which allowed Pai to assume the chairman role after Tom Wheeler stepped down in January.

Officially, Pai will need to be confirmed again by the Senate, but the timing of Trump's renomination coincides with Pai's appearance before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday. Assuming he sails through his confirmation hearing, Pai's new five year term will technically begin when his last one expired, meaning he could stay on as chairman until at least 2021.

In addition to Pai's seat, President Trump will be filling two other spots on the FCC -- according to commission rules, one seat is designated for a Republican and the other must go to a different party member. As Axios also notes, free-market scholar Rosalyn Layton and Indiana State Senator Brandt Hershman have been mentioned as possible Republican commissioners. Obama nominee and current commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is expected to stay in the Dem's seat.

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