Week ahead: Dems look for way forward on FCC nomination

Week ahead: Dems look for way forward on FCC nomination
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President Obama and Democrats are making a last-ditch try to get Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel back on the Federal Communications Commission.

President Obama on Wednesday renominated Rosenworcel for a five-year term.

Rosenworcel, a former FCC commissioner, failed to be reconfirmed at the end of the 2016 legislative session, after a two-year fight over her nomination. Rosenworcel failed to get a vote, despite efforts from lawmakers to try and cut a deal and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's offer to step down in exchange.

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Wheeler is still stepping down when President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup Russian ambassador: Trump made ‘verbal agreements’ with Putin MORE is sworn into office. Control of the FCC will swing to Republicans, but two of the five commissioners must be Democrats.

That has Dems hopeful that Rosenworcel can return, but its unclear if anything will be different this time around.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans Judge Kavanaugh confounds the left This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation MORE (D-N.Y.), who is a key player in advancing Rosenworcel's nomination, has pushed for her.

But Republicans will likely be reluctant to work out a deal on Rosenworcel with Trump slated to take office in two weeks.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenators share their fascination with sharks at hearing Helsinki summit becomes new flashpoint for GOP anger Senate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash MORE (R-S.D.), another key voice, has said that while he respects her work, he'll wait on confirmations until Trump is in the White House.

The tech industry will be closely watching.

Rosenworcel has supported key elements of net neutrality that Trump and Republicans have criticized. And Trump's picks to helm his FCC landing team have also publicly criticized much of net neutrality.

The FCC currently has two Republican commissioners -- Ajit Pai and Mike O'Rielly -- and two Democrats -- Wheeler and Mignon Clyburn. The Commission will flip to a 2-1 Republican majority, leaving Trump room to appoint a new Republican Commissioner and a Democrat.

Pai is expected by many in the industry to become the next chair, at least for the interim.

Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceElection Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas Lewandowski: Trump-Putin meeting advances goal of world peace Indiana has spent over million on cleanup of failed Pence family gas stations: report MORE ally Brant Hershman is the frontrunner for the other Republican commissioner's spot according to a Politico report.

Outside of the FCC intrigue, Republicans are busy rounding out their committee assignments and chairs.

A committee aide told The Hill that Energy and Commerce Committee GOP subcommittee assignments are expected to be completed sometime next week.

Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnElection Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas Senate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Lawmakers split over how to expand rural broadband MORE on Friday was tapped as the chair of the key Technology and Communications subcommittee. Blackburn is also a vocal critic of the net neutrality rules, putting her in the driver's seat as Republicans weigh their response to the controversial rules.


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