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Senate GOP Calls for Biden to Withdraw FCC Pick Are Growing (1)

Dec. 6, 2021, 11:20 PMUpdated: Dec. 7, 2021, 12:28 AM

A growing number of Republican senators are calling on President Joe Biden to withdraw Gigi Sohn’s nomination for the Federal Communications Commission.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the top Republican on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, along with Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) said Monday they backed a request by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) for Biden to withdraw the nomination. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is also backing the request.

“I think that would be helpful and the administration would be better served if they would do that,” Wicker said.

Sohn faced Republican criticism during her Dec. 1 nomination hearing. A committee vote has not yet been scheduled. A vote will not be held this week, Wicker said, adding he doubts it will occur before the end of the year.

There is wide consensus among Republicans that Sohn is not a good candidate, Tillis said.

“If you take a look at the remaining time we have left, hopefully we can do everything we can to block it,” Tillis said of Senate consideration of Sohn’s nomination in the last weeks of the congressional session.

The FCC has been operating without a Democratic majority since January, prohibiting initiatives like reinstating net neutrality rules from advancing.

Jessica Rosenworcel, who was nominated to a new FCC term, has garnered bipartisan support.

The Senate voted Monday to limit debate on the Rosenworcel’s nomination, moving her nomination closer to a confirmation vote, planned for Tuesday.

If confirmed, Rosenworcel’s new term would expire in 2025. She has served as chair since January.

The Senate Commerce Committee approved Rosenworcel’s nomination Dec. 1 by voice vote.

(Updated with additional reporting. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Maria Curi at mcuri@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kibkabe Araya at karaya@bloombergindustry.com; Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com