Trump withdraws former FCC Dem's nomination

Trump withdraws former FCC Dem's nomination
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President Trump has withdrawn the nomination of Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to the Federal Communications Commission.

Rosenworcel previously served on the Commission from 2012 to 2017. She stepped down in January after lawmakers failed to reach a deal on reconfirming her. But in a last-ditch bid before leaving office, then-President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe US must not turn its back on refugees Gorka calls Trump's comments on Mexican immigrants ‘fake news’  The queen, Aretha Franklin, is dead MORE renominated her to the FCC.

The FCC is led by a chair and four commissioners, two from each party. Some speculated that Rosenworcel could be paired with a Republican nominee. Democrats at the time accused Senate GOP leaders of reneging on a deal to fill the FCC's two current vacancies.

The nomination was officially withdrawn on Feb 28th. The decision comes as the Trump administration has pulled back a number of nominees to regulatory commissions and agencies.

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A White House spokesperson told The Hill they could not comment on personnel decisions.

Currently, the FCC has a 2-1 Republican majority, with Republican Chairman Ajit Pai, Republican Commissioner Michael O'Reilly and Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. There is a vacancy for one more Republican and one more Democrat.

Traditionally, the White House has deferred to leaders of the opposition party leadership to pick their two commissioners.

Senate Minority Leader, Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTo make the House of Representatives work again, make it bigger Reforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' MORE (D-N.Y.) voiced his support for Rosenworcel after Obama renominated her in January, saying that “he was pleased to see President Obama renominate her," and expressing "hopes that her nomination can move forward quickly."

Schumer had strongly pushed for her renomination.

On Thursday, a Schumer spokesperson said that despite Trump's decision to withdraw Rosenworcel, they would push for the Democratic commissioners of their choice.

“We intend to assert our prerogative on nominees as has always been done,” the spokesperson said. “The administration has always deferred to congressional leaders and we fully expect that to continue.”

Sources, including some in the telecom industry, said they believed Schumer would push to get Rosenworcel back on the FCC.

Rosenworcel had received praise from both sides of the aisle. Earlier this year, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up GOP leader criticizes Republican senators for not showing up to work Ex-Trump adviser: Shutdown 'not worst idea in the world' MORE (R-S.D.) has said he was willing to reconfirm her, but believed the decision should be up to Trump.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) on Thursday hammered the administration's decision.

"I am appalled that the White House withdrew all the pending nominations for federal commissions," Schatz said. "That is an unnecessarily provocative act and infringes on the prerogatives of the Senate. The Administration should defer to congressional leaders on the nominees for these commissions as has been the norm.

"I hope the White House will renominate her and the Senate will keep its commitment to confirm her as we should have done a year ago,” Schatz continued.

This story was last updated at 4:55 p.m.

Harper Niedig contributed.