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FCC Nominees Confirmed

Senate acted quickly once Grassley hold lifted

Photo by Bob Kovacs The Senate has voted to confirm two nominees to the FCC.

Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai could be sworn in and officially working at the Portals within days. That would bring the agency up to its full complement of five commissioners.

Rosenworcel is senior communications counsel for the Senate Commerce Committee and also has FCC experience. Pai has worked at Jenner & Block since April 2011, and is a former FCC attorney and Senate staffer.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, recently released a hold on the nominees after receiving documentation from the FCC on unrelated matter. The hold blocked movement on the nominees since last December, when the Commerce Committee sent the nominations to the Senate for a floor vote.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., praised both nominees in a statement, saying Rosenworcel spent almost 15 years working on communications issues for the committee. He characterized her understanding of complex communications policy as “unparalleled.”

Pai’s experience in the public and private sector help him understand the communications challenges in rural America, according to Rockefeller.

“They bring deep knowledge of our sector, and proven track records of accomplishment,” stated FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who added: “President Obama made an outstanding choice in their nominations, and I look forward to working with them.”

Rosenworcel will take the seat of former Democratic commissioner Michael Copps, who resigned in December, while Pai replaces former Republican commissioner Meredith Baker, who left the agency in May 2011 to join Comcast.