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Obama renominates former FCC commissioner

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President Obama on Wednesday renominated former FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to the agency just weeks after Senate Republicans refused to confirm her to a new five-year term.

“This was the right thing to do,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee. “Hopefully, Senate GOP leaders will finally live up to their promise to confirm her.”

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said in a statement to The Hill that he was open to confirming Rosenworcel, but believes her nomination should be left to President-elect Donald Trump.

“I publicly supported Commissioner Rosenworcel’s confirmation last Congress, and I continue to appreciate her service,” Thune said. “That said, now that we are just days away from Inauguration, I believe the president-elect deserves to be able to nominate the commissioners he wants to serve.

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“I am open to the idea of confirming her later this year, as long as we preserve the new Republican majority on the commission in the process.”

Democrats have accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) of reneging on a deal to reconfirm Rosenworcel, a Democrat, in exchange for a Republican commissioner being confirmed.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is seen as a key player in Rosenworcel gaining confirmation, also praised her renomination.

“Leader Schumer believes Commissioner Rosenworcel did a terrific job at the FCC and deserved to be reconfirmed last Congress,” Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer, said. “He was pleased to see President Obama renominate her today, and hopes that her nomination can move forward quickly.”

FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler had offered to resign in exchange for Senate approval of his Democratic colleague. That proposal was also rejected and Wheeler later announced that he would be stepping down when the new administration was sworn in.

“I applaud President Obama’s reappointment of Jessica Rosenworcel to the FCC, and hope that Congress will act quickly to confirm her nomination,” Wheeler said in a statement Wednesday.

This story was updated at 7:12 p.m.

Tags Bill Nelson Chuck Schumer Donald Trump John Thune Mitch McConnell
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