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McDowell Committee Vote Scheduled

The Senate Commerce Committee has made it official.

A Thursday vote (March 16) has been scheduled on the nomination of Robert McDowell to fill the remaining vacant seat on the FCC. He will likely be approved in a voice vote on a block of nominations. No word on when the leadership will schedule a full Senate vote, but it could be within days.

McDowell, a Republican appointee who has been working as a lobbyist for Comptel, had an easy confirmation hearing last week, praised by both Republicans and Democrats. Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) had said he would try to get the committee vote by March 16, and proved as good as his word.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has some big issues on his plate, including beginning the review and rewrite of media-ownership rules, that have been awaiting a Republican body in that fifth Republican seat.

The current timetable would likely put McDowell in his chair by April.