President Barack Obama has nominated Republican FCC commissioner Michael O'Rielly to a full, five-year term on the commission.
Given that he has already been vetted and voted by the Senate, that nomination will almost certainly be confirmed.
“I am extremely humbled and appreciative of the action by President Obama to consider and approve my nomination to a new term as a Commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission," said O'Rielly. "In my tenure at the Commission, I have appreciated the opportunity to work with my colleagues and the great people at this institution on the dynamic communications policy issues before us. “The announcement by the President is an important step in the process, and I respect and honor the role that the U.S. Senate will undertake to consider my nomination as it determines appropriate.”
O'Rielly has been filling the unexpired term of former commissioner Robert McDowell, which ended June 30, though commissioners are allowed to continue serving for what can be an extended period before being officially confirmed to a new term.
O’Rielly has been a commissioner since November 2013. Before that he was policy advisor in the Office of the Senate Republican Whip.
O'Rielly had no immediate comment, but his fellow Republican commissioner Ajit Pai was "delighted."
"During his time at the Commission, he has been a strong advocate for economic freedom and modernizing our regulations to keep pace with today’s marketplace. Mike has also been a trusted friend and colleague," said Pai. "I look forward to continuing to work with him in the months and years to come."
The two have teamed up to criticize FCC process and some of the actions taken by the Democratic majority to tighten FCC rules on TV station sharing arrangements.
But FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler praised O'Rielly's commitment to his beliefs and called him a "tremendous asset."
“Mike O’Rielly and I were confirmed together for his first short term and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new longer term," said Wheeler"Commissioner O’Rielly is deeply committed to the goal of improving the lives of the American people though communications technology, and his intellect and work ethic have made him a tremendous asset to the agency.”
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