The prospects for expediting the process of installing Tom Wheeler as the next FCC Chairman was moved along by the nomination of Mike O’Rielly to fill the Republican seat formerly occupied by Robert McDowell. And the good news is that a key Senate Republican has offered full-throated support to O’Rielly.
Thune is the Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Committee which approved Wheeler and will be considering O’Rielly’s qualifications.
Not only is Thune enthusiastic about O’Rielly, he specifically mentioned moving quickly on the nomination in order to get both nominees installed at the FCC as soon as possible.
Thune said, “I first had an opportunity to get to know Mike while he was an analyst at the Republican Policy Committee during my chairmanship,” said Thune. “Mike is very bright, thoughtful, and articulate. He is a champion of the free market, and I know he will be a strong addition to the FCC. In recent conversations, he has impressed me with his understanding of the many issues on the communications horizon and the importance of the Commission’s work when it comes to the unique communications challenges in rural states like South Dakota.”
In conclusion, Thune commented, “In light of the Senate Commerce Committee’s action this week on Tom Wheeler, I look forward to the expedited consideration of Mike’s nomination that Chairman Rockefeller and others have pledged so both nominees can be confirmed by the full Senate in the near future.”