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Robin Groulx / Axios

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a little over a month into the job, has the agency's net neutrality rules in his sights.

"Our new approach injected tremendous uncertainty into the broadband market," Pai said of the 2015 net neutrality rules during a speech in Barcelona on Tuesday. "But today, the torch at the FCC has been passed to a new generation, dedicated to renewal as well as change."

The details: Pai spoke about his priorities for his tenure, including incentivizing broadband deployment and instituting a "light-touch" regulatory regime. "We are confident in the decades-long, cross-party consensus on light-touch Internet regulation — one that helped America's digital economy thrive," he said, according to his prepared remarks. "And we are on track to returning to that successful approach."

Why it matters: Pai has been crystal clear about his distaste for the FCC's 2015 decision to treat broadband like a utility, which gave the FCC more regulatory authority over the industry. Meanwhile, angry progressive lawmakers and public interest groups have pledged to fight any effort to roll back the rules. Those critics have slammed Pai's moves to pull back investigations under the rules as well as potential efforts in Congress to squash related privacy regulations. Broadband providers such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T support Pai's efforts.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

The bomb cyclone and atmospheric river seen via satellite on Sunday. The center of the storm is at the middle of the comma shape, due west of Washington State. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.

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