Biden Resubmits Gigi Sohn Nomination for FCC Post

Gigi Sohn at February 2022 Senate confirmation hearing
(Image credit: Pete Marovich/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden, who at first did not succeed in getting his FCC nominee confirmed — or even voted on the the full Senate — is try, trying again, signaling he is not giving up on Gigi Sohn. Sohn has become a contentious pick, leaving the FCC at a 2-2 political tie for longer than at any other time.

The president Tuesday (January 3) again submitted the nomination of Sohn to be the fifth commissioner, and third Democrat, on the Federal Communications Commission. She has been nominated to a five-year term, but since it is retroactive to the departure of the commissioner she is replacing — Trump-era chairman Ajit Pai, whose term expired in July 2021 — it will be, at most, a three-year-plus term.

Biden first submitted the nomination in October 2021, then again in January of 2022, but it did not get further than a tie in the Senate Commerce Committee, which means it was not favorably reported to the Senate for a vote. The Senate would first have had to vote to discharge the nomination from that committee — which did not happen — before holding a vote on the underlying nomination.

Also: Sohn Supporters Gang Up On Hill

The Democrats controlled the Senate in the last Congress by the slimmest of margins, a margin not sufficient to secure Sohn’s nomination.

“Gigi is a knowledgeable nominee with a long record of commitment to the issues before the FCC and I congratulate her on nomination as a commissioner at the agency,” said FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, who will need Sohn if she is to tackle non-bipartisan issues. “I look forward to the day we have a full complement of five commissioners.”

“Gigi Sohn will be a strong, effective voice and vote for the public interest, and a key to breaking the FCC’s current deadlock,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said. “She is indisputably qualified, and unstintingly dedicated, winning her support across the political spectrum. As we know in Connecticut and nationwide, the challenges of connectivity and broadband access cannot be delayed. Nor should her confirmation.”

“Gigi Sohn is a fighter and consumer champion who has a proven track record of working with both Republicans and Democrats on solutions that help connect rural communities and bring more broadband competition to American families, schools and small businesses," said Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS, which represents competitive carriers and some edge providers. “It’s time for the Senate to speed the nomination of Gigi Sohn to help speed the deployment of new faster broadband networks that bring jobs, savings and new opportunities to communities large and small.”  ▪️

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.