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Abernathy Sets December Exit From FCC

Abernathy Sets December Exit From FCC

FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy has told President Bush she intends to leave the commission Dec. 9.
After serving 4-1/2 years, she had said this year she wanted to leave, but would wait for the administration to nominate a replacement. Her term expired more than a year ago; she must leave by the end of this session of Congress as she did not seek to have her term extended.
The White House announced last week the president intends to nominate Deborah Tate as an FCC commissioner and re-nominate Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps. Tate, a Republican, is director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. If confirmed by the Senate, Tate would fill the remainder of former Chairman Michael Powell’s term until June 30, 2007.
The committee designated a Dec. 13 confirmation hearing for Tate and Copps.
Abernathy’s exit leaves Chairman Kevin Martin, a Republican, with a four-commissioner FCC made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, until her replacement is nominated and confirmed.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, is said to be seeking candidates for Abernathy’s slot.