Trump appoints Rosenworcel to FCC

15 June 2017 by Steve Blum
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Trump appoints Rosenworcel to FCC

Third time is the charm.

Jessica Rosenworcel is on her way back to the Federal Communications Commission. President Donald Trump has re-nominated her to one of the two seats reserved for democrats. The question he left hanging, though, is which seat?

This will be the third attempt at reappointing Rosenworcel to the commission. She was originally appointed by president Barack Obama in 2011, served her initial five year term with high marks from both sides of the aisle, and stayed until the end of last year, as the law allows when no renomination or replacement has been confirmed by the U.S. senate. Obama put her name forward twice: the first nomination expired in the senate, the second one was withdrawn when Trump took office.

Trump has a reputation for backing people with a track record of intelligent and competence, and Rosenworcel has that. Now her name is back on the table.

What’s not clear is whether Rosenworcel is being appointed to fill the open democratic seat or if she’s going to replace Mignon Clyburn, the only democrat on the commission, whose term expires at the end of the month (although, like Rosenworcel, she can stay on for a time, pending confirmation of a replacement). That detail should be cleaned up when the white house sends the formal paperwork to the senate.

The FCC is currently operating with only three commissioners – Clyburn, and two republicans, chairman Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly. If Rosenworcel is being appointed to the open democratic seat, then we can expect to see a third republican nomination sent to the senate soon – otherwise, the FCC would be in a two-to-two deadlock.

One name that keep popping up is Brendan Carr, currently the FCC’s general counsel and formerly an aide to Pai. But that’s just at the rumor stage right now – other names, including members of the shadowy transition landing team that Trump sent to the FCC before he took office.