Biden’s FCC nominee withdraws name
President Biden’s nominee to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) withdrew her name Tuesday after two years of partisan gridlock delayed her confirmation, the White House confirmed.
“We appreciate Gigi Sohn’s candidacy for this important role. She would have brought tremendous talent, intellect and experience, which is why the president nominated her in the first place,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a briefing.
“We also appreciate her dedication to public service, her talent and her years of work as one of the nation’s leading public advocates on behalf of American consumers and competition,” she added.
Jean-Pierre declined to share any updates about future candidates.
The Washington Post first reported that Sohn withdrew her name.
In a statement, Sohn said she asked Biden to withdraw her nomination after discussions with her family and “careful consideration.” She said the “unrelenting, dishonest and cruel attacks” on her character and career from cable and media lobbyists “have taken an enormous toll on me and my family.”
“It is a sad day for our country and our democracy when dominant industries, with assistance from unlimited dark money, get to choose their regulators. And with the help of their friends in the Senate, the powerful cable and media companies have done just that,” Sohn said.
Earlier Tuesday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he would not support Sohn’s confirmation, further complicating chances of Democrats confirming Sohn given their slim majority and the fierce GOP pushback to Sohn.
Sohn is a lawyer with more than three decades of experience in technology privacy law, and previously served as a top aide to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
Democrats touted her experience and years of service, but Republicans slammed her over accusations that she is too far to the left to serve in the position on the agency.
The delay to confirm a full FCC has left the agency unable to advance some portions of Democrats’ agenda, such as pushing forward action to reinstate Obama administration-era internet neutrality laws.
Sohn said the “real losers” are the American people, due to the ongoing 2-2 FCC deadlock that leaves the agency unable to push forward certain policies.
“As someone who has advocated for my entire career for affordable, accessible broadband for every American, it is ironic that the 2-2 FCC will remain sidelined at the most consequential opportunity for broadband in our lifetimes,” Sohn said.
Alex Gangitano contributed. Updated at 2:31 p.m.
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