FTC Nominee Bedoya Vote Scheduled

An exterior view of the Federal Trade Commission building
(Image credit: Future)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has scheduled a vote for Wednesday (March 30) on the nomination of Alvaro Bedoya to fill the open Democratic seat on the Federal Trade Commission.

Because the vote in the Senate Commerce Committee to refer him favorably to the Senate for confirmation was a tie, the Senate will first have to vote to discharge him from the committee, then to confirm him.

If he is confirmed, as expected, Bedoya, who has been critical of facial recognition tech and is a big advocate of privacy protections, is joining an agency focused on reining in Big Tech and its perceived anticompetitive conduct  so the commission's profile could be raised both inside and outside the Beltway.
Also: Biden Names Privacy Advocate to FTC

Bedoya was the first chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, including conducting oversight of Big Tech.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, spoke in favor of the discharge vote and confirmation on the Senate floor. “The FTC Is the security guard for America's consumers,” Sen. ahw said. “The FTC needs to be able to protect all Americans, and to accomplish that we need to have a commission that is not deadlocked, but has somebody like Mr. Bedoya who can help us move ahead on these issues.”

Yet to get a vote is Gigi Sohn, who was nominated to fill the vacant Democratic seat on the FCC. Her vote out of committee was also a tie, so she, too, will need a discharge vote first. ■

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.