Every new Congress brings a bit of a rotating chair exercise as vacant seats are filled and leadership slots are filled with new players. While I would certainly credit Senator Roger Wicker for a vast array of congressional and commerce-oriented experiences, this January was his first time to take the full Senate Commerce Committee leadership gavel and control over the Senate agenda for all things under their vast jurisdiction, including communications issues.
Sen. Wicker, who has served in the Senate since 2007 after serving seven previous terms in the House, hails from Pontotoc, Mississippi which had a population of 5,625 in the last census. A small-town leader who has spent much of his career focused on creating jobs, limiting federal overreach, and ensuring sufficient national defense resources.
I was excited when Chairman Wicker released the priorities for his chairmanship in the months ahead and rural broadband and connectivity were at the head of the list. I know from appearing in the past before the committee that he is focused on how to continue to expand the reach of broadband to all Americans and what types of technologies and policies will be necessary to get the job done.
In the spirit of starting off the year right, Mike Romano and I stopped in to visit with the Wicker leadership team last week to share ideas on how their policy priorities might be achieved and to thank them for all their past support in getting the Universal Service program on more stable footing. The Senator’s team is smart, has experience, and has the American consumer in mind as they review policy priorities in the year ahead. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we can be a resource to their efforts and certainly how we can help them achieve our shared goal of connectivity for all.