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FCC Nominations on Fast Track

Genachowski, McDowell clear committee hurdle

The Senate Commerce Committee has approved several nominations, including those of Democrat Julius Genachowski as FCC chairman and re-nomination of Republican Robert McDowell as commissioner. They were approved in an off-the-floor markup to speed the voting process.

Committee Democrats are trying to get full Senate approval before the July 4 congressional recess.

In a statement, Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said “Julius Genachowski has my resounding support. He offers the public and private sector experience needed to reinvigorate the FCC and put consumers first.”

Rockefeller said he voted for McDowell too “in the spirit of bipartisanship,” however he has concerns. “I want to be clear that I have high expectations that Mr. McDowell will show great independence from the industries he regulates. I hope I am not disappointed,” a reference to the way the FCC was run under Chairman Kevin Martin, also a Republican.

After the nomination hearing on Tuesday, committee leadership indicated Rockefeller wanted to move quickly on the nominations.