Senate Democrats back Rosenworcel for FCC chief

Rosenworcel has been an FCC commissioner since last May. Before that, she served as an adviser to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), the chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FCC. She has also served as an aide at the FCC and worked in private practice.

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But choosing Rosenworcel would skip over Mignon Clyburn, the more senior Democratic commissioner and daughter of Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), and could be seen as a snub of Clyburn and anger her supporters.

In a letter obtained by The Hill, 37 Democrats urged Obama to "give serious consideration" to choosing Rosenworcel. They touted her decades of experience in communications policy and said she is "equally respected by industry, the public safety community, and public interest groups."

As a sitting commissioner, Rosenworcel would not need Senate confirmation to ascend to the chairmanship. The Democrats argued that by choosing Rosenworcel, the administration could avoid delaying critical FCC rule-makings. 

They also applauded Rosenworcel for understanding and respecting the relationship between Congress and the FCC.

"Commissioner Rosenworcel is very cognizant of the fact that, as an independent agency, Congress defines the limits of the FCC's authority and jurisdiction," they wrote.

The Democrats wrote that Rosenworcel understands that "in the digital age, the FCC must promote confidence for private investment in our communications infrastructure, while also promoting confidence for consumers to realize the full potential and opportunity in the digital world."

Other potential candidates to succeed Genachowski include venture capitalist Tom Wheeler; Karen Kornbluh, ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; and Larry Strickling, the head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.