Trump nominates Democrat Rosenworcel to serve again as FCC commissioner

"Commissioner Rosenworcel is supremely qualified for another FCC term, having demonstrated her public service credentials and full command of telecommunications issues during her Commission tenure".

President Donald Trump said he plans to nominate Jessica Rosenworcel to the Federal Communications Commission, paving the way for the net neutrality supporter to return to the agency after her term lapsed late previous year. Her renomination to the FCC reinforces that President Trump, an active user of anytime/anywhere connectivity, understands the importance of US leadership in the digital economy and setting a market-driven, pro-innovation approach on communications and tech policy issues. Nelson, ranking member of Senate Commerce, began nearly every hearing late past year with the reminder that Dems had voted to approve Republican commissioner Mike O'Reillyin December 2013, without the customary Dem nominee paired with him, in exchange for Rosenworcel's renomination going to a vote early in the 114th Congress. Republican senators didn't want Rosenworcel to stay on the FCC at the time because it would have resulted in a 2-2 deadlock.

But there have been increased rumblings in DC circles that she's looking to leave at the end of June.

In addition to backing net neutrality rules, Rosenworcel has pushed for the expansion of the FCC's Lifeline program, which provides subsidized communications devices and services for low-income users. Most significantly, she took the cable industry's side in the effort to end the Great Cable Box Rip-Off by noting she had "concerns" over the proposed plan.

Sources also had expected Trump to announce Rosenworcel along with a nominee for the FCC's other open slot - a Republican seat - and it had been widely believed that Brendan Carr, the general counsel at the FCC, would win that position.

Commissioners are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Her term expires June 30, but she could continue to serve until the congressional session ends.

The Competitive Carriers Association, which represents small and rural US carriers, quicly backed Rosenworcel's nomination. "IIA hopes the Senate will move quickly to confirm Rosenworcel, and we look forward to working with her in the months and years to come". "She has shined a spotlight on the need to eliminate the homework gap to ensure America's students have access to the digital tools to help them succeed in school".

Pai congratulated Rosenworcel, saying, "I look forward to working with her once again to advance the public interest".

  • Annette Adams