Shortly before midnight the White House announced President Trump’s decision to nominate Rosenworcel — a Democrat who had served on the commission from 2012 until January 2017.
Her term expired in mid 2015, but the Senate Commerce Committee allowed her to stay until the end of 2016 while it declined to deal with President Obama’s renomination of her.
President Trump withdrew the nomination in March. That left the FCC with three members — two Republicans and one Democrat — and two vacancies: one for each party.
Democrats led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recommended Rosenworcel for the party’s opening.
Ordinarily in cases like this the president jointly nominates a Republican and a Democrat to limit partisan bickering during the Senate confirmation process.
Some agency watchers wonder whether President Trump nominated Rosenworcel in anticipation of a change later this month when the term of the term of the FCC’s lone Democrat, Mignon Clyburn, expires.
One possibility: the president might decline to renominate Clyburn, who some have speculated might choose to leave the FCC to deprive it of a quorum as it weighs several controversial matters. They include a possible reclassification of the internet to limit the FCC’s ability to enforce net neutrality protections.
In any event, those in and around the FCC applauded the nomination. Here’s a sampling:
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai:
[Rosenworcel] 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.
Senate Commerce Committee ranking member Bill Nelson (D-Fla.):
Hallelujah, better late than never. The Senate should now move quickly to confirm her and fulfill the promise that was made two years ago.
NCTA – the Internet & Television Association CEO Michael Powell (former FCC Chairman):
During her first term as Commissioner, Jessica proved to be an outstanding public servant who championed policies that enable American consumers to benefit from the tremendous changes taking place in the communications and technology marketplace. We share Jessica’s passion for promoting policies that close the digital divide and ensure that all Americans, especially students, have access to the many benefits that the internet offers.
National Association of Broadcasters CEO Gordon Smith:
NAB is delighted to hear that President Trump will renominate Jessica Rosenworcel to the FCC. 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. NAB strongly supports her renomination and confirmation.
Andrew Jay Schwartzman, Institute for Public Representation, Georgetown University Law Center:
This appointment rights a wrong, because she deserved confirmation last year, and should have been sitting on the Commission all along. I look forward to her zealous advocacy for universal broadband deployment, especially for younger Americans.
Gene Kimmelman, CEO of Public Knowledge:
At a time when we face enormous challenges to prevent the FCC from undermining fundamental consumer protections, we are pleased that Senate Minority Leader Schumer and his colleagues indicate a commitment to fight for competition, protecting consumers’ pocketbooks and consumers’ rights by promoting nominees who will support our cause.
Michael Copps, former FCC Commissioner, Common Cause Special Advisor
Few people have ever walked through the doors of the Federal Communications Commission with as much knowledge, experience, and good judgement as Jessica Rosenworcel. I know from personal experience that she is among the most capable ever to hold the title of Commissioner, and her return to the Commission could not come at a more propitious time. With the Open Internet, media localism, and diversity all under threat, the public interest has never needed a public interest servant of her caliber so acutely. I urge Congress to confirm her with dispatch.