August 02, 2017

Udall: I Will Hold FCC Chairman Pai Accountable to Protect Free Speech

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, member of the Senate Commerce Committee, released the following statement opposing President Trump's nominee to chair the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Ajit Pai. Pai's nomination to chair the FCC was advanced by the committee this morning and now must be approved by the full Senate.

Udall objects to Pai's proposals to roll back net neutrality. And, in the wake of dangerous threats against the news media by Trump, Udall has repeatedly pressed Pai to assure Congress that he will defend the FCC's responsibility to ensure equal and impartial access to information.

"The FCC's mission is to ensure all Americans have affordable and equal access to information -- whether by broadband or broadcast. So I have been extremely concerned by the lack of outrage from Chairman Pai after President Trump's repeated suggestions that his administration should retaliate against certain news outlets for airing news critical of his administration. During his confirmation hearing, Chairman Pai responded to my questions that he will speak out against violence and intimidation against reporters, that he will personally set a good example for press access, and that he will not threaten any news organization with legal or regulatory retaliation because of its coverage. I welcome those important commitments, and I will continue to hold Chairman Pai and the entire FCC accountable."