It may not be long before the Tom Wheeler era begins at the FCC and Ajit Pai ceases to be one of the loneliest agency Republicans in Washington. Now that the Commerce Committee interview with Michael O’Rielly is in the books, Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has promised swift action.
In addition to talking with O’Rielly, the Committee vetted Terrell McSweeny for a similar assignment with the Federal Trade Commission. Rockefeller intends to move forward with both candidates.
Rockefeller said, “If confirmed, the nominees will join the FCC and FTC at a critical time for consumers. I intend to schedule votes on each nomination in the Committee soon and will push for quick consideration on the Senate floor. I can tell you that these agencies do their strongest work for the American people when all Commissioners are on board.”
Wheeler was nominated by President Barack Obama to take the position vacated by Julius Genachowski; O’Rielly is aiming to fill the seat vacated by Robert McDowell.
In the interim between Genachowski and Wheeler, the historic service of Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn has been in progress. With numerous high profile issues before the FCC, not the least of which is the upcoming incentive auction of television spectrum, Clyburn has kept the Commission’s pedal to the metal as it waited to bet its 8th Floor Commissioner level fully populated.