Broadcasters urge swift confirmation of FCC nominees

{mosads} President Obama nominated Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel last week to serve as FCC commissioners. Rosenworcel has worked for Democrats, most recently as an aide to Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), while Pai has worked for Republicans.

“With the Senate’s approval, NAB and our nation’s broadcasters look forward to working with Jessica and Ajit for many years to come,” Smith wrote.

Although the nominees are themselves considered uncontroversial, The Hill reported on Tuesday that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) intends to block their confirmation unless the FCC releases documents related to wireless company LightSquared.

LightSquared plans to launch a wholesale wireless broadband service, but tests earlier this year revealed its network interferes with Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. The FCC has granted LightSquared a conditional waiver to move forward, but officials have said they will not allow the company to launch its network until the GPS issues are resolved.

Republican lawmakers began calling for an investigation of the company’s lobbying efforts after emails revealed LightSquared had communicated with senior White House aides. The administration also reportedly asked an Air Force general to change his testimony in a congressional briefing to make it more supportive of the company.

Grassley’s hold will take effect once the nominees reach the Senate floor for a vote. First, the Commerce Committee must vote on the nominations.

A spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters declined to comment on Grassley’s hold on the nominees.

Tags Chuck Grassley Jay Rockefeller
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