Republican FCC Commissioner Says Biden Admin Is Targeting Elon Musk With ‘Regulatory Harassment’

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Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Carr said Tuesday that the agency’s decision to rescind a nearly $900 million award to Elon Musk’s SpaceX was politically motivated.

Musk and his companies are battling numerous investigations launched by President Joe Biden’s administration, many of which have occurred since he acquired social media platform Twitter — now X — in October 2022. The FCC’s rejection of a $885 million award to SpaceX’s Starlink to provide fast broadband internet service to over 640,000 homes and businesses in rural areas is aligned with other examples of the Biden administration’s “harassment” of Musk, Carr alleged in a statement dissenting from the decision. (RELATED: ‘Do Not Wish Good Things For Me’: Elon Musk Explains Why He Thinks The Biden Admin Could Be Out To Get Him)

“Today’s decision certainly fits the Biden Administration’s pattern of regulatory harassment,” Carr wrote. “Indeed, the Commission’s decision today to revoke a 2020 award of $885 million to Elon Musk’s Starlink—an award that Starlink secured after agreeing to provide high-speed Internet service to over 640,000 rural homes and businesses across 35 states—is a decision that cannot be explained by any objective application of law, facts, or policy.”

Soon after Musk’s acquisition of X, Biden stated that Musk’s relationships with foreign governments warranted investigation.

“I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries … is worthy of being looked at, whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate, I’m not suggesting that,” Biden said in November 2022. “I’m suggesting that [it’s] … worth being looked at … that’s all I’ll say.”

This statement by Biden provided government agencies with a “greenlight” to pursue him, Carr said.

“Doesn’t make sense,” Musk posted in response to the rejection on Tuesday. “Starlink is the only company actually solving rural broadband at scale!”

The FCC asserted its denial was due to Starlink’s failure to show its capability to meet the requirements to provide services to the hundreds of thousands of homes in 35 states with money from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) initiative. The commission has not replaced Starlink’s bid with any other companies to meet the requirements, Carr alleged.

The FCC previously denied Starlink’s award in August 2022 due to the company not adequately demonstrating it could meet the program’s requirements. Starlink argued for the commission to review the decision, but the FCC reaffirmed it based on a standard that has never been used before, Carr alleged.

“The FCC followed a careful legal, technical and policy review to determine that this applicant had failed to meet its burden,” FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel told Reuters.

Carr and the other Republican Commissioner Nathan Simington dissented while the three Democratic commissioners all voted to rescind the grant.

“Starlink is arguably the only viable option to immediately connect many of the Americans who live and work in the rural and remote areas of the country where high-speed, low-latency internet has been unreliable, unaffordable, or completely unavailable, the very people RDOF was supposed to connect,” SpaceX Vice President of Legal Christopher Cardaci wrote in a letter to the FCC.

The FCC and the White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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