Trump nominates Rosenworcel to serve again as FCC commissioner

Jessica Rosenworcel

Jessica Rosenworcel

Democrats insisted Republicans had agreed in 2015 to reconfirm Rosenworcel as part of a deal to confirm O'Rielly.

The White House announced Trump's intention to nominate Rosenworcel last night, numerous media outlets reported.

Rosenworcel, who had served on the commission between 2012 and the end of 2016, was forced to exit at the end of a year ago after Congress failed to bring her renomination to a vote despite unanimous approval by the Senate Commerce Committee and support from both Democratic and Republican legislative leaders after Senate Republican leadership would not schedule a vote. Republican senators didn't want Rosenworcel to stay on the FCC at the time because it would have resulted in a 2-2 deadlock. Her departure would leave the FCC without the quorum necessary to conduct major business (though some have quoted agency analysts saying Chairman Pai could use "obscure procedural tactics" to conduct business). She is widely respected on both sides of the aisle and in telecom policy circles, so having her as a third, Democratic member of the FCC, failing to fill the other two seats, and keeping the current 2-1 Republican majority could be seen as a good outcome for Trump and Republicans. Clyburn's term expires at the end of June. Her nomination is expected to be joined up with the renomination of Pei, whose five-year term ends later this year, the LA Times reports.

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[Rosenworcel] has a distinguished record of public service, including the four-and-a-half years we worked together at this agency, and I look forward to working with her once again to advance the public interest.
She has the support of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "While the Commerce Committee does not yet have the necessary paperwork to act on her nomination, in deciding how to proceed, the committee will be seeking more information about the status of the administration's efforts to nominate a qualified candidate for the remaining vacancy at the FCC".

The fact that Trump didn't do this is already stoking political speculation that he actually views Rosenworcel as a replacement for Clyburn, not a complement. "She has shined a spotlight on the need to eliminate the homework gap to ensure America's students have access to the digital tools to help them succeed in school".

When the election results came in and it became clear there would be a Republican president and a Republican majority Congress, Wheeler tried to broker that deal - his scalp for her renomination - but failed.

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