Senate confirms FTC, FCC picks

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Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerThe ‘bang for the buck’ theory fueling Trump’s infrastructure plan Kamala Harris endorses Gavin Newsom for California governor Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response MORE (D-Calif.) and Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellEnergy commission sees no national security risk from coal plant closures OPEC and Russia may raise oil output under pressure from Trump Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers target Chinese tech giants | Dems move to save top cyber post | Trump gets a new CIA chief | Ryan delays election security briefing | Twitter CEO meets lawmakers MORE (D-Wash.) expressed concern that Wright would not aggressively enforce antitrust and consumer protection laws.

But if Democrats had blocked Wright, Republicans could have retaliated and derailed other nominations.

Wright will have to recuse himself from the most significant case currently before the FTC: its antitrust investigation of Google.

Wright, who received funding from Google for some of his academic research, pledged not to participate in any FTC actions involving the company for two years.

Clyburn, the daughter of Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), is a vocal advocate for media diversity, and pushed the commission to look into the high rates that prisoners pay for phone calls to their families. 

In a statement, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said he looks forward to continuing to work with her.

"Commissioner Clyburn is an excellent and dedicated public servant and has been a strong advocate in seeking to extend the benefits of broadband to all Americans," he said.

On Sunday, the Senate confirmed William Baer to head the Justice Department's Antitrust Division in a 64-26 vote. The division has not had a permanent chief since August 2011, when Christine Varney left for private practice.