Jessica Rosenworcel could be headed back to her old seat at the FCC after President Trump nominated her late Tuesday to fill the open Democratic spot on the Commission.
Rosenworcel – a vocal advocate for net neutrality and closing the “homework gap” in broadband accessibility – previously served on the Commission from 2012 through the end of last year, but stepped down when the Senate failed to extend her expired term before the end of their session.
The five-member body of the FCC is currently operating with just three members: Republicans Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, and Democrat Mignon Clyburn. There are currently two vacant slots on the Commission, one for each party.
Trump in March reportedly withdrew Rosenworcel’s renomination by President Barack Obama from the Senate. But Rosenworcel resurfaced in recent weeks as one of two frontrunners to fill the two open seats on the Commission. Recode recently pegged Brendan Carr, currently general counsel for Ajit Pai’s FCC, as the favorite for the Republican slot. Senator Bill Nelson, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee said Trump’s nomination of Rosenworcel was “better late than never,” and called on the senate to “move quickly to confirm her and fulfill the promise that was made two years ago.” FCC Chairman Pai hailed Rosenworcel’s “distinguished record of public service,” and said he looks forward to working with her again.
The Competitive Carriers Association, which represents small and rural U.S. carriers, quicly backed Rosenworcel’s nomination. CEO Steven Berry said “Rosenworcel’s experience and knowledge of issues important to competitive carriers make her an ideal candidate.”
“CCA shares her commitment to ensuring wireless services for all Americans, especially for consumers in rural and remote areas, and her focus on closing the homework gap will benefit all Americans,” he added. “I congratulate Jessica on her re-nomination and support her confirmation by the Senate and look forward to working with her again.”
The National Association of Broadcasters also voiced its support for Rosenworcel’s return to the Commission on Wednesday.
“NAB is delighted to hear that President Trump will renominate Jessica Rosenworcel to the FCC,” NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said in a statement. “Commissioner Rosenworcel is supremely qualified for another FCC term, having demonstrated her public service credentials and full command of telecommunications issues during her Commission tenure. NAB strongly supports her renomination and confirmation.”
If she is swiftly confirmed by the Senate, Rosenworcel would rejoin fellow Democrat Mignon Clyburn on the Commission – though perhaps not for long. Clyburn’s tenure is set to expire at the end of this month, and the Trump Administration has not said whether it intends to renominate her for another term.
Filed Under: Industry regulations