Sohn’s confirmation would secure a Democratic majority at the commission for the first time since Biden took office, allowing it to pursue policies such as restoring Obama-era net neutrality rules.
The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee didn’t advance the nomination during the last congressional session.
Republicans argued Sohn would pursue heavy-handed regulations at the agency. They also criticized Sohn’s past remarks denouncing conservative media outlets. Some GOP senators called on Biden to withdraw her nomination.
It is unclear whether Sohn has enough Democratic support to win confirmation. She has had additional meetings with senators to shore up support, a spokesperson for Senate Commerce Democrats said in an email Monday.
“After meeting with Gigi Sohn and questioning her at her confirmation hearing, I am confident that she understands the internet connectivity challenges facing communities in Montana and across rural America,” Sen.
“I intend to vote for her nomination because it’s critically important we have a fully functioning FCC, and I will hold her accountable to her commitment to increase access to high-speed internet that will lower costs for Montana families, create good-paying jobs, and grow the economy,” Tester added.
Sohn committed to meeting with Nevada broadcasters to hear their concerns, upholding all retransmission consent laws, and promoting diversity, Rosen’s office said.
A spokesperson for Senate Commerce Republicans did not respond to a request for comment.
In letters sent this week to Senate Commerce chair
“Invariably there will be issues where her vote may not be the one you would make, but you will always know that she is a straight shooter ready to fully articulate ‘the why’ behind her decision,” Simpson wrote.
Former chiefs Jamie Barnett and David Turetsky co-signed a separate letter, in which they called Sohn “a strong advocate for the public safety and homeland security communications policies and initiatives that are critical to the American people and first responders.”
Alan Davidson, Biden’s pick to lead the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, is awaiting a full Senate vote. The Senate Commerce Committee last month approved Davidson’s nomination.
If confirmed, Davidson will be tasked with implementing $42.5 billion in new broadband subsidies, passed in infrastructure legislation.