Trump Intends to Nominate Jessica Rosenworcel for Return to FCC

Erika Turner
June 15, 2017

Rosenworcel, a Democrat, served as FCC commissioner between 2012 until 2017.

President Donald Trump plans to nominate Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel for another term on the Federal Communications Commission.

Rosenworcel, a Democrat, was re-nominated by Obama in January of 2017 to serve another term, after Senate lawmakers failed to extend her term before Congress adjourned at the end of a year ago. "Her renomination to the FCC reinforces that President Trump, an active user of anytime/anywhere connectivity, understands the importance of USA leadership in the digital economy and setting a market-driven, pro-innovation approach on communications and tech policy issues".

Her nomination comes as the agency aims to reverse Obama-era regulations, including the former Democratic president's landmark 2015 net-neutrality rules prohibiting broadband providers from giving or selling access to certain internet services over others. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn's term expires at the end of this month. The White House has yet to stipulate whether the president will renominate Clyburn for another term. Rosenworcel is a vocal advocate for net neutrality and closing the "homework gap" in broadband accessibility.

In any event, those in and around the FCC applauded the nomination.

Hallelujah, better late than never.

"She 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", Pai said in a prepared statement. In that event, the Clyburn seat could be paired with the new Republican and Rosenworcel paired with Chairman Pai, whose term also ends in June.

Usually presidents nominate Republican and Democratic candidates for the FCC in tandem to boost their chances of approval by an increasingly partisan Senate. 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). "I look forward to her zealous advocacy for universal broadband deployment, especially for younger Americans", Georgetown University law professor Andrew Jay Schwartzman told the LA Times. "At a time when we face enormous challenges to prevent the FCC from undermining fundamental consumer protections, we are pleased that Senate Minority Leader Schumer and his colleagues indicate a commitment to fight for competition, protecting consumers' pocketbooks and consumers' rights by promoting nominees who will support our cause".

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