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Senate Committee Advances Jessica Rosenworcel Nomination

Acting FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel at Nov. 17, 2021, confirmation hearing
Acting FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel at her Nov. 17 confirmation hearing. (Image credit: C-SPAN)

Acting Federal Communications Commission chairperson Jessica Rosenworcel was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday (Dec. 1) for a new, five-year term, meaning only likely, swift full-Senate confirmation before she becomes the regulator‘s first non-acting woman chair.

The vote was not quite unanimous, with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) voting no, as he did on several other nominations being voted as a package. Also approved at the business session was Alvaro Bedoya, to be the fifth member of the Federal Trade Commission. Johnson also voted no.

Committee chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) introduced the vote as on Rosenworcel as commissioner, leading Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) to ask whether that should not have been as chair. Cantwell pointed out that the chair post was a presidential designation, and that she had been so designated — meaning confirmation as “commissioner” was correct.

“We congratulate chairwoman Rosenworcel on her approval by the Senate Commerce Committee for another term at the FCC,” NCTA–The Internet & Television Association president and CEO Michael Powell said in a statement. “During her time at the commission, Jessica has been a champion for connecting every American to broadband and she has only heightened this focus during her time as acting chair. We encourage the full Senate to swiftly move ahead with her nomination.” 

“Charter applauds the Senate Commerce Committee on today’s vote approving the nomination of Chairwoman Rosenworcel for another term at the FCC," said the cable broadband operator in a statement. "Throughout her tenure at the FCC, Chairwoman Rosenworcel has proven herself a tireless advocate for consumers and we look forward to continuing to work together.”■

John Eggerton
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.