Technology

Biden nominates acting FCC chief to permanent role

Aaron Schwartz

The White House on Tuesday nominated acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Jessica Rosenworcel to permanently head the agency and Gigi Sohn to join the panel and give Democrats a 3-2 majority.

Rosenworcel has served as acting chair since the beginning of President Biden’s term and, if sworn in, would be the first woman to head the agency on a full-time basis.

Sohn, a fellow at the Georgetown Institute for Technology Law and Policy, has been a favorite pick for liberal advocacy groups to fill in the commission’s last spot. 

If both candidates are not confirmed through the Senate by the end of the year, Rosenworcel’s term will expire and Republicans will claim a 2-1 majority on the normally five-member panel, setting up an expedited timeline as lawmakers tussle over funding packages.

Progressives have been calling for Biden to move on FCC nominations for months, hoping that a Democratic-controlled agency would mean the return of net neutrality rules for internet providers.

The White House on Tuesday also nominated Alan Davidson to be assistant secretary for communications at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency that serves as the president’s principal adviser in the space and is housed within the Department of Commerce.

Tags Jessica Rosenworcel Joe Biden

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