First the government shut down the FCC, for the most part anyway, and although Senate Commerce Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has no statutory reason to do so, a vote on a number of federal nominees has been postponed.
The vote was scheduled for Thursday 10/3/13 at 11AM eastern. A reschedule date was not announced, nor was any particular reason cited for the delay.
Among those tossed in the cooler is Republican FCC Commissioner nominee Michael O’Rielly.
The delay in the confirmation process for O’Rielly is also almost certainly a delay in the confirmation process for Democratic Chairman nominee Tom Wheeler. The Senate has had a record of approving all of the nominees to the FCC during the past several years, but it much prefers to send in matching bipartisan sets if at all possible to maintain equilibrium at the top of the Commission.
The Federal Trade Commission on occasion wades into broadcast territory, and a nominee to that agency – Terrell McSweeny – is also on ice along with three others named to fill positions with no influence over communications issues.