Thursday, July 20, 2017

FCC Nominee Brandan Carr Questioned Over Independence

Brandan Carr
A leading Senate Democrat on Wednesday questioned the independence of a FCC nominee who worked as a top aide to the current chairman.

If confirmed, Brendan Carr, a Republican nominated last month by President Trump, would be the commission’s swing vote on Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to dismantle tough net neutrality rules for online traffic.

According to The LATimes, Carr hasn’t publicly stated his position on the matter, but the assumption is he would support Pai, a fellow Republican and his former boss.

Members of the Senate Commerce Committee did not ask Carr for his position on net neutrality during a confirmation hearing Wednesday.

But Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the committee’s top Democrat, pressed him to name an example of an issue on which he “substantively disagreed” with Pai.

Carr, an attorney who served as a legal advisor to Pai from 2014 to 2017, promised to be independent but said he did not want to discuss advice he gave to Pai.

“I’ll make my own decisions. I’ll call it the way I see it based on the facts, the record and what I think serves the public interest independent of where other people come out,” Carr told Nelson.

“I think my record over the years shows that I’m not a shrinking violet and am confident standing on my own feet and making my own decisions,” said Carr, who became the FCC’s general counsel in January.

Nelson asked the question several times and was not happy with Carr’s answer.

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