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White House Sends FCC Nominations to Senate

The White House has officially sent its nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai for two FCC commissioner seats to the Senate, which must now schedule a confirmation hearing.

The president signaled his intention to nominate the pair Monday night, but now the nomination has been delivered to the Senate for its advice and, if all goes as expected, consent.

Rosenworcel is currently senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, and a top communications policy advisor to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), whose committee will vet the commissioners. A source with the Commerce Committee said the chairman would be looking to schedule a confirmation hearing as soon as possible.

Pai, since last spring, has been a partner at Jenner & Block LLP. Before that he was in the Office of the General Counsel at the Federal Communications Commission, where he was Deputy General Counsel, Associate General Counsel, and Special Advisor to the General Counsel.  

Rosenworcel is Rockefeller's choice, while Pai is said to be the pick of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The President generally defers to the choices of congressional leaders for both Republican and Democratic picks.

Tuesday afternoon saw even more industry players weighing in to congratulate the potential future regulators of their space.

"We applaud President Obama for nominating Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to serve as FCC Commissioners," said Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro. "Ms. Rosenworcel and Mr. Pai each have a deep understanding of technology issues and will be valuable assets to the Commission, the industry and the public. Once confirmed by the Senate, we look forward to working with both of these distinguished individuals to restore our nation's innovation economy through public policies that help grow the technology sector."

"We welcome President Obama's announcement that he intends to nominate Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to serve on the Federal Communications Commission," said USTelecom President Walter McCormick Jr. "Their breadth of knowledge of the evolving communications industry, its legal challenges and rapid technological changes will help inform the already seasoned leadership at the commission. We look forward to working with the new commissioners once the nomination process is complete."

"We congratulate Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai on their nominations as FCC Commissioners and urge the Senate to quickly confirm their appointments," said Jonathan Spalter, chairman of Mobile Future. "Given the potential wireless technology has for job growth and economic recovery, the FCC needs all hands on deck to address the pressing communication issues facing our country."