Senate Dems Call for Rosenworcel's Confirmation

Democratic Sens. Bill Nelson (Fla.), ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee; Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.); and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) made a point during the committee's FCC oversight hearing Thursday (Sept. 15) of calling on the Republican majority to hold a Senate confirmation vote on the renomination of FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

Markey called for a vote ASAP.

"We can bring the Rosenworcel vote up this afternoon by unanimous consent on the Senate floor," Markey said. "I Ask that we do that."

Related: Programmers Press Set-Top Concerns With Rosenworcel

That is a way to fast-track a noncontroversial vote. Rosenworcel was overwhelmingly confirmed by the same committee for renomination.

All of the Senators pointed out that Democrats had agreed to confirm Republican commissioner Michael O'Rielly on the assurance that Rosenworcel would get a renomination vote as well, but that the majority had reneged, or at least yet to deliver, on that agreement.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler also said the commission needed the benefit of Rosenworcel's continued service.

Republicans have been looking for some sign from Wheeler of when he was leaving the commission. Wheeler did not exactly provide a timetable, but did say it could be his last oversight hearing before the committee. 

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.