Alvaro Bedoya FTC Nomination To Proceed to Senate Vote with Help of VP
Squeaker vote to discharge from committee is split down party lines
The Senate voted Wednesday (March 30) along party lines to move to a vote on the nomination of Alvaro Bedoya to fill the vacant Democratic seat on the Federal Trade Commission, which is currently at a 2-2 political tie. Vice President Kamala Harris had to cast the tie-breaking vote.
The Senate Commerce Committee vote to favorably report Bedoya's nomination to the Senate had been a 14-14 tie, necessitating a vote in the Senate to discharge the nomination from the committee before it could vote on the actual confirmation of Bedoya to the FTC. That discharge vote was also a tie at 50-50, with 48 Democrats and two independents voting to discharge and all the Republicans voting against. Harris then took the podium to cast the deciding vote.
According to Ballotpedia, Harris has already cast more than a dozen such tie-breaking votes.
Nomination votes were scheduled for later Wednesday though it was not clear whether Bedoya's would be one of them. But since a majority voted to discharge, his nomination it will almost certainly pass whenever that happens. Bedoya then could be installed at the FTC ASAP.
Bedoya, a critic of facial recognition tech and a big advocate of privacy protections, is joining an agency focused on reining in Big Tech and its perceived anticompetitive conduct.
The White House has also touted his experience helping lead a coalition "that successfully pressed an [i]nternet giant to drop ads for online payday loans."
Bedoya was the first chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, which shares oversight of Big Tech.
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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.