Trump nominates Rosenworcel for vacant FCC role

James Pearce
Published on:

President Trump has backed former commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to return to the FCC months after Republicans blocked the Democrat's reappointment

President Donald Trump has nominated former FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to return to the US regulator, despite Republicans blocking the reappointment of the Democrat in January.

Rosenworcel was appointed to the FCC in 2012, but languished without a vote from the Republican-led Senate for more than a year after President Barack Obama tried to reappoint her.

An email statement from the White House revealed that Trump will nominate Rosenworcel back to the FCC, despite the fact that during her time she supported net neutrality rules that current chair Ajit Pai is looking to tear down.

Pai said: “I congratulate Jessica Rosenworcel on the announcement that President Trump will nominate her to serve another term on the Federal Communications Commission. She has a distinguished record of public service, including the four-and-a-half years we worked together at this agency, and I look forward to working with her once again to advance the public interest

The FCC has been serving without a full complement since Rosenworcel’s reappointment was blocked, and former chair Tom Wheeler stepped down after Trump won the presidency. The regulator can sit up to five members on the commission, with the President entitled to select a majority. Currently, there are three sitting members: Pai, Republican Michael O’Rielly, and Democrat Mignon Clyburn, whose tenure is set to expire this month.

Other key policies that have been driven by Rosenworcel in the past include advocacy for closing disparities in broadband services that impact negatively students, especially in rural areas.

Rosenworcel is backed by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer. Schumer said: ““Rosenworcel is a great pick for the FCC and I’m happy the administration accepted our recommendation.”

The final vacant seat, should Rosenworcel’s nomination be approved, is likely to be filled by a Republican.

For an exclusive Q&A with former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, click HERE.