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Commerce Committee Forwards FCC Nominations

Full Senate floor vote not yet scheduled; Grassley says hold stands

The Senate Commerce Committee has sent the FCC nominations to the full Senate for a vote as expected, however a floor vote has not yet been scheduled.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he stands firm on blocking the nominations from coming to a vote on the Senate floor over an unrelated issue.

Committee members voted Thursday to nominate Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to fill the vacancy left by former Commissioner Meredith Baker, who left the commission in May to join Comcast, and Republican Ajit Pai to replace Commissioner Michael Copps, who announced his resignation this week.

Commerce Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said he’s confident any concerns about the nominees can be addressed quickly “so we can clear the way for full Senate confirmation.”

“We need effective consumer advocates,” said Rockefeller, who added he’s especially pleased to move forward with Rosenworcel’s nomination. “Her expertise on communications policy will be a major asset to the commission. “

Rosenworcel is senior communications counsel for the Senate Commerce Committee. She also has FCC experience. In fact, Commissioner Copps is a former boss.

Pai began working at Jenner & Block in April, and is a former FCC attorney and Senate staffer.

— Leslie Stimson