A group of approximately two dozen U.S. senators are urging President Biden to designate acting FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel to a permanent position, making her the first woman to hold the office.
The chairmanship of the commission has been in limbo since Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2021, with Rosenworcel operating in acting capacity.
Some of the group of senators — all Democrats and one Independent, who causes with them, Angus King of Maine — noted that they had voiced their support in a similar letter to Biden after he was declared winner of the 2020 election.
They said having a permanent chair is important, in light of congressional efforts to provide funding for expanded broadband access nationwide as well as address the impacts of the 18+ month pandemic, part of the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021,” now being considered by the House.
“Given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure all people have access to broadband, it is absolutely essential that there are trusted, qualified appointees leading these agencies to coordinate the deployment effort across your administration” the senators — representing 17 states — wrote in a letter to the president.
They asked Biden to appoint her to the chairmanship “as quickly as possible,” adding that “further delay simply puts at risk the major broadband goals that we share and that Congress has worked hard to advance as part of your administration’s agenda.”
They added that Rosenworcel is the best person for the job.
“There is no better qualified or more competent person to lead the FCC at this important time than Acting Chair Rosenworcel,” the senators said. “We have long experience working with her and her team, and she has already shown an ability to steer the FCC through these extraordinary and difficult times. Importantly, we believe that Acting Chair Rosenworcel will face few obstacles to her confirmation.”
The delay in appointing a permanent FCC chair is “the longest in 44 years,” according to Telecom TV. Capitol Hill pundits speculate that the delay could surround the administration’s indecision on whether to have the commission’s first female chair or whether or not to nominate an African-American to the position.