Reid Expected to Push GOP On Rosenworcel Vote

Senate source says look for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid to use some of his time for opening remarks on the Senate floor today (April 21) to urge Republicans to back a full-Senate vote on the renomination of FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to the FCC ASAP.

In an FCC oversight hearing last month, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, said it was past time for the Senate to confirm FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, suggesting it was a promised confirmation that has yet to be honored by the other side of the aisle.

Nelson pointed out, and Reid is expected to echo, that at the end of the last Congress (December 2014), Republican FCC commissioner Mike O'Rielly was confirmed without waiting for a Democrat to pair him with in that process on the promise that Republicans would confirm Rosenworcel quickly in the new Congress.

Nelson says that Reid (D-Nev.) told him Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made the promise to then Commerce chairman (and Rosenworcel's former boss) Jay Rockefeller that her nomination would be moved without delay in the new Congress.

Rosenworcel's renomination was unanimously approved by the Commerce Committee late last year, but the full Senate has yet to vote.

The President re-nominated the Democratic commissioner for a new five-year term back in May 2015. Her current term expired in June of 2015, but she could serve until the end of 2016 without renomination.

Rosenworcel joined the commission in 2012, confirmed unanimously by the Senate on that occasion.

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.