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Source: Still Optimistic Clyburn Could Be Confirmed This Congress

At press time on Sunday, a Senate commerce Committee source said they were still hopeful they could get the nomination of FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn voted before Jan. 2. If so, she will almost certainly be confirmed given her bipartisan support and positive reception in her confirmation hearing.

Otherwise, she would have to be renominated by the President and have to go through a second confirmation hearing, as would with Federal Trade Commission nominee Dr. Joshua Wright, who shared a nomination hearing the first time around with Clyburn.

Neither nomination has been voted on by the Senate Commerce Committee, whose scheduled vote Dec. 18 was postponed due to the death of committee member and Medal of Honor recipient Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii).

The committee source said they were optimistic the votes in both the committee, then the full Senate, could be completed in this Congress.

After Inouye's death and memorial service tabled the planned vote, the leaders of the committee, on both sides tried to fast-track a vote by seeking a unanimous consent vote by committee members in a break from floor business, but that did not pan out.

The Senate Sunday (Dec. 30) voted on some nominations, but was mostly engaged in negotiations or at least dueling statements, on the so-called fiscal cliff, which is the automatic tax increases and budget cuts that begin kicking in Jan. 1 absent a deal.

Clyburn's current term expired June 30, 2012, but she could continue serving through the next Congress ( the end of 2013) unless a replacement were nominated and confirmed. She joined the FCC in 2009, filling the unexpired term of Democrat Jonathan Adelstein, who exited to head the Rural Utilities Service (RUS).