President Obama has chosen the high road as he prepares for his departure from office. After meeting with president-elect Donald Trump, Obama said his “number one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful,” noting that if Trump succeeds the U.S. will succeed. If only the outgoing chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, were so noble.
Rather than focus on a smooth transition, Wheeler intends to keep pushing his partisan agenda to futility and beyond. Two days after the election, Wheeler gave notice that later this week the FCC will vote on his controversial plan to impose heavy-handed price regulations on highly-competitive business data services. Neither of the Republican commissioners have supported this idea and there is no reason to believe they’ll vote in favor of it now.
If Hillary Clinton had won the election, this wouldn’t be surprising. As Senator John Thune (R-SD) recently noted in an oversight hearing, during Wheeler’s brief 3-year stint at the FCC, he’s presided over “nearly twice as many partisan votes than in the previous 20 years combined” and has used agency information “as a political weapon.” For Wheeler, party-line votes have been par for the course.