Senator unloads about FCC nominee hold


Jay RockefellerSen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is allowing a vote on the FCC nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to proceed, at long last. The member of the legislative body that weighed in on the matter was Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

Grassley has been holding up the nominations of the two nominees, which was otherwise widely supported by both parties, in a feud with the FCC over access to documents concerning the LightSquared 4G proceeding. Grassley also wanted freedom to interview certain FCC employees.

The FCC refused, citing the long-standing rules under which it is expected to engage only with legislators attached to appropriate committees, which Grassley is not.

According to reports, even members of Grassley’s own party were getting tired of his hold.
Rockefeller suggested that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) were instrumental in breaking Grassley’s hold. The Pai nomination has been said to be of particular interest to McConnell.

Rockefeller went so far as to call Grassley’s hold “stubborn” and “unreasonable.” He said, “I am glad that the unreasonable hold against two qualified and smart FCC nominees, Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai, has been lifted. They are each ready to do this tough job and I especially want to thank Leaders McConnell and Reid for working cooperatively to advance these nominations in the face of stubborn delay tactics. That type of bipartisan cooperation bodes well for the success of Rosenworcel and Pai and I am anxious for the full Senate to vote on their nominations in May.”

RBR-TVBR observation: I would like for my voice to be represented fairly in Congress, and that does not include a rule that lets one senator out of 99 drown out the voice of my chosen representative.

If Mr. Grassley wants to investigate FCC/LightSquared, he is free to do so. But he should not be able to use this tactic, nor should any other senator.

It’s like trying to discipline a child by denying a privilege to some other parents’ kid. “Son, if you don’t clean your room right now, your friend Joe will NOT be allowed to go the movies!”

Maybe the son will take pity on Joe, and maybe he won’t. But it’s ridiculous to even speculate on this, because every parent we know would lay the punishment on the son, not the friend. If only the Senate was set up operate in accordance with the laws of common sense.