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Pai Seen as Strong Candidate for Permanent FCC Chairman; Trump Big Wild Card

Communications Daily

"Commissioner Ajit Pai, the presumptive interim FCC chairman, remains a strong candidate to be named permanent chairman in the Republican administration, industry officials told us Thursday and Friday (see 1611140066). Pai is highly respected and well connected, including to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump's attorney general choice, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., some said. Tapping Pai -- who's experienced and doesn't need Senate confirmation near term -- as permanent chairman could also accelerate GOP efforts to roll back regulation, including of the net neutrality and broadband reclassification order, some said. "They're trying to hit the ground running," said Scott Cleland, a Republican and chairman of NetCompetition, whose group receives broadband industry funding."

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