Senate panel to vote on FCC nominees in August

Senate panel to vote on FCC nominees in August
© Greg Nash

The Senate Commerce Committee will hold confirmation votes for three nominees to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) next week.

On Aug. 2, the panel will vote on former Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr, a Republican. And Ajit Pai, the current Republican FCC chairman, will be considered for another five-year term.

At a confirmation hearing for the three nominees earlier this month, Pai was grilled by Democrats on whether the White House had tried to influence his decision making on issues including the AT&T-Time Warner merger. The chairman maintained that he hadn’t spoken with the White House about the $85 billion deal.

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Carr and Rosenworcel are both veterans of the agency. Rosenworcel served on the commission for five years under the Obama administration, but she stepped down at the beginning of the year after her reconfirmation was held up squabbles in the Senate.

Carr is the current acting general counsel for the FCC and prior to that was a legal adviser to Pai.

If the two are confirmed, they will step into their FCC roles as the agency is rehashing its fight over net neutrality. Pai is currently pushing through a repeal of the Obama-era rules over objections from Democrats.

At next week's hearing, the committee will also be voting on the confirmation of David Redl, a GOP Hill staffer, who President Trump nominated to lead the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.