RUSH: Chairman Pai, welcome back, sir.
PAI: Rush, good to speak with you.
RUSH: Congratulations on becoming the Chairman!
PAI: Thanks very much. Pigs have flown, locusts are flying around
in the sky. [Laughs] It’s definitely an incredible experience.
RUSH: You were just appointed for another five years?
PAI: Yes, President Trump nominated me formally for another five-
year term, and now it’s up to the Senate to reconfirm me by the end
of the year, which is when I would otherwise have to leave the
RUSH: And we don’t expect any holdups there. You’ll probably sail
PAI: From your lips to God’s ears, I hope so. We’re in a pretty
challenging political environment as you know. But I’m hopeful.
I’ve tried to work well with both sides of the aisle, and hopefully
that bears some fruit in the confirmation process.
RUSH: Well, congratulations. It appears from press reports that
you’ve come out of the gate just running, to implement more free-market concepts in what the Commission does. Two years ago, we
talked a lot about “net neutrality.” I want to open with that again,
since you are going to try to roll it back. I know it was implemented
by your predecessor, Mr. Wheeler. Has it been fully implemented,
and how do you withdraw it or repeal it? What’s the process?
PAI: Good question. The rules were adopted by the previous FCC on
February 26, 2015. Those rules were challenged in court, and the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, a three-judge panel of
that court, upheld the rules last year. There is a further appeal that’s
pending before the full slate of judges on that court, and the court
hasn’t yet decided what it will do with that. In the meantime, here
at the Commission, obviously, there’s been a substantial change in
membership. The prior Chairman has departed, as has one of the
Democratic Commissioners in early January.
So there are three Commissioners left: two Republicans and one
Democrat. And as you know, President Trump designated me as
Chairman on January 23. So now, as the Chief Executive Officer of
the agency, it’s my job to figure out how to move forward. We’re
still in the process of thinking that through.
RUSH: But it’s something you want to do.
PAI: I’ve been pretty clear that I favor a free and open internet,
and I oppose what is known as Title II, the Depression-era, heavy-handed economic regulations that the prior Administration imposed on every broadband provider, big and small. That philosophy is something I’ve been very clear about over the years.
RUSH: I know from what side of the political spectrum net neutrality comes. My suspicion, based on what I have learned, is that the
people who wanted net neutrality wanted to expand the federal
government’s control over the internet, for whatever purposes they
deemed necessary down the road, nefarious or otherwise. And really, net neutrality is a name like the Affordable Care Act. There’s
nothing “affordable” about the Affordable Care Act.
PAI: [Laughs] Right.
RUSH: And there’s nothing “neutral” about their idea of net neutrality. They want to be able to pick certain winners and losers. I
was always concerned that if they got this, to the extent that they
wanted to, they could make choices based on the content they
My Conversation with QA &
I first interviewed this brilliant member of the Federal Communications Commission for the April 2015 Limbaugh Letter. This past
January, President Trump elevated him to FCC Chairman, and I
wanted to catch up with his plans to unleash the power of the free
market — and to right a lot of the wrongs imposed under Obama: