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Senate Confirms Jessica Rosenworcel to Lead FCC for New Term (2)

Dec. 7, 2021, 5:23 PMUpdated: Dec. 7, 2021, 7:58 PM

The Senate confirmed Jessica Rosenworcel to another term on the Federal Communications Commission on a 68-31 vote.

Rosenworcel begins her new term, which will run until 2025, without a Democratic majority at the five-member commission, which currently has two Democrats and two Republicans. That makeup has hindered Democrats’ goal of reinstating net neutrality rules.

“It is a tremendous honor to be confirmed and designated as the first permanent Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission,” Rosenworcel, who has served as FCC chair since January, said in a statement.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), who chairs the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, praised Rosenworcel’s confirmation.

“The policy decisions before the FCC are substantial and Chairwoman Rosenworcel is committed to those priorities and immensely qualified to lead at this critical moment,” Cantwell said in a statement.

It’s unclear how quickly President Joe Biden will be able to fill the fifth commission seat. Several Republican senators are calling on him to withdraw his nomination of Democrat Gigi Sohn.

Cantwell said she’s uncertain whether the Senate Commerce panel will vote on Sohn’s nomination this month.

“I think members of the committee had a chance to ask her about policy, I felt like she did a good job at the committee hearing answering those concerns,” Cantwell said in response to Republican calls for Biden to withdraw Sohn.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) said he backed the withdrawal of Sohn’s nomination because he is concerned she will be too heavy-handed.

(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

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