Trump nominates Democrat Rosenworcel to serve again as FCC commissioner

Posted June 15, 2017

Rosenworcel was on the FCC from 2012 until the start of 2017, when her tenure expired. Conventional thought in Washington at the time was that President Trump would accept the pre-inaugural nomination and pair Rosenworcel with a Republican to lead the agency, according to a report in recode, which first reported the news.

President Trump withdrew Obama's renomination of Rosenworcel, which if she had been seated would have left the FCC at a 2-2 political divide once FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler exited.

Rosenworcel - a vocal advocate for net neutrality and closing the "homework gap" in broadband accessibility - previously served on the Commission from 2012 through the end of past year, but stepped down when the Senate failed to extend her expired term before the end of their session.

Republicans now hold a 2-1 voting edge at the agency under new Chairman Ajit Pai, but Democrat Mignon Clyburn's term is slated to end in a few weeks.

The Trump administration announced it wants Jessica Rosenworcel, an outspoken advocate for digital equity, back as FCC Commissioner. It is not clear if Clyburn plans to stay on the commission.

This appointment rights a wrong, because she deserved confirmation a year ago, and should have been sitting on the Commission all along.

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Her term officially ended on June 30, 2016 but she had been formally approved for a second term by President Obama many months before. She was also part of a 3-2 Democratic majority that reclassified fixed and mobile ISPs as common carriers in order to enforce net neutrality rules and impose new online privacy restrictions (the latter of which were eliminated by Republicans after Trump's inauguration).

The White House announced the intention- it does not become official until it is sent to the Senate - late Tuesday night. A name that has been mentioned as a candidate is Brendan Carr, who is now the FCC's general counsel.

Commissioners are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

Washington woke up Wednesday to the not-unexpected news that President Donald Trump meant to nominate Jessica Rosenworcel to fill the empty Democratic seat on the FCC. "I look forward to working with her in the fight for an open Internet, affordable broadband and strong consumer privacy protections".

Pro-net neutrality groups including Public Knowledge praised Rosenworcel's renomination. "She is a thoughtful public servant who has an excellent grasp of the issues facing today's communications industry and we look forward to working with her again".