Senate Republicans just intentionally kneecapped the FCC in the middle of a pandemic. They will regret it.

Posted December 8, 2020 at 10:12 PM

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The Senate just voted 49-46 to confirm Trump nominee Nathan Simington to the FCC. The unprecedented move breaks with decades of tradition––commissioners are usually added to the agency in bipartisan pairs. The sole purpose in this case is to throw sand in the gears of the agency and prevent it from getting to work restoring net neutrality and ensuring people have Internet access in the middle of a public health crisis that has forced millions to work and attend school remotely.

Digital rights group Fight for the Future, known for organizing the largest online protests in human history to defend net neutrality and the FCC’s ability to conduct oversight of Big Telecom monopolies, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Deputy Director Evan Greer (she/her):

“Every single Senator who voted to confirm Nathan Simington betrayed their constituents and their oath to uphold the Constitution. 

We are in the middle of a crushing pandemic. Millions are working from home. Kids are sitting outside Taco Bell to do their homework. People are more vulnerable to abuse by Big Telecom companies than ever before. But Senate Republicans decided to move forward with this deeply cynical move to kneecap the FCC and prevent the agency from moving forward with urgently needed work like restoring net neutrality and ensuring affordable Internet access for all. 

Nathan Simington has no qualifications beyond his loyalty to an outgoing, wannabe autocrat. And it’s clear that he would likely use his post to continue Trump’s senseless attacks on the First Amendment and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, one of the most important laws protecting free expression and human rights in the digital age. Internet users from across the political spectrum should come together to hold lawmakers accountable for this disgusting display of partisanship and corruption. 

Senate Republicans are spitting in the face of the American public. More than 80% of voters from across the political spectrum opposed the agency’s agenda under Ajit Pai. By confirming Simington, they’re not ‘owning the libs’ or ‘sticking it to Biden,’ they’re just hurting our kids, small businesses, and our communities. It’s up to us to make sure they regret it. ”