The Senate Commerce Committee has narrowly--14 to 13--approved FCC commissioner Brendan Carr for a full, five-year, term on the FCC, but Carr was hardly singled out for a "squeaker" vote.
The vote came Thursday (Jan. 18) at an executive session on a raft of nominations, all of which squeaked by by that same 14-13 partisan margin.
Carr is currently serving out the unexpired term of former chair Tom Wheeler, which expires in June. His nomination, which was sent to the committee last week, now goes to the full Senate for a vote.
Carr and Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel were confirmed back in August as part of a complicated, partisan, deal that led to a voice vote ("unanimous consent") in which Senators approved Democrat Rosenworcel through 2020 but only allowed Republican Carr to hold office through June 2018 (completing Wheeler's term). Republican Senators on the Commerce Committee had sought to approve Carr simultaneously for the unexpired term plus for the ensuing term through 2023.
Rosenworcel was returning to the FCC after her term was allowed to expire without a vote on her renomination by then President Barack Obama.
Carr has already made his mark on the FCC as one of the three votes needed to restore the UHF discount, deregulate broadcast ownership , and overturn the Title II classification of ISPs and repeal regs against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.
Carr had been general counsel under FCC chair Ajit Pai before being nominated by President Donald Trump to the FCC.
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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.