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Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (Zach Gibson / AP)

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will face his first round of congressional questioning by the Senate Commerce Committee in an oversight hearing this morning.

  • He'll probably send signals about his plans for the 2015 FCC net neutrality rules he opposes. Committee Chairman John Thune also plans to say that there's "no reason" that the FCC shouldn't move to address the rules while Congress gets its act together on the issue, according to an excerpt of his opening statement.
  • Thune said he's interested in talking about rural broadband expansion. That's good news for Pai, who has made that a policy priority since he became chairman in January.
  • Watch for Democrats to cross-examine him over pulling back on other Wheeler initiatives, including privacy rules for broadband providers and changes to broadband access for low-income people and schools and libraries. Hawaii's Brian Schatz also said he would push Pai on how to engender a bipartisan spirit on the five-seat commission—something Pai has claimed his predecessor did not do.

The politics: This is an opportunity for tech's Democratic allies to hold Pai's feet to the fire. Congressional Republicans, though, think highly of Pai. "I plan to ask him how he got to be so capable and so smart, and to ask him if he understands how much we appreciate his great leadership," said Mississippi's Roger Wicker, seemingly in jest.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Everyone's bullish

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Following positive vaccine news and the run-up in global equities punctuated last week by the Dow hitting 30,000 points, investors are again throwing caution to the wind and growing more uniform in their bets that stocks will continue to rise.

Between the lines: The resurgence of traders' risk appetite has some urging caution, as unanimity in either excitement or fear historically has proven to be a contrarian signal for the stock market.

Salesforce rolls the dice on Slack

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Salesforce's likely acquisition of workplace messaging service Slack — not yet a done deal but widely anticipated to be announced Tuesday afternoon — represents a big gamble for everyone involved.

For Slack, challenged by competition from Microsoft, the bet is that a deeper-pocketed owner like Salesforce, with wide experience selling into large companies, will help the bottom line.

FBI stats show border cities are among the safest

Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation; Note: This table includes the eight largest communities on the U.S.-Mexico border and eight other U.S. cities similar in population size and demographics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

U.S. communities along the Mexico border are among the safest in America, with some border cities holding crime rates well below the national average, FBI statistics show.

Why it matters: The latest crime data collected by the FBI from 2019 contradicts the narrative by President Trump and others that the U.S.-Mexico border is a "lawless" region suffering from violence and mayhem.