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Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Trump nominates a pro-net-neutrality advocate as FCC commish

Trump nominates a pro-net-neutrality advocate as FCC commish

"CenturyLink congratulates Jessica Rosenworcel on the news that she will be renominated to serve as an FCC commissioner", said David Bartlett, CenturyLink VP of federal government affairs.

The U.S. Senate will again consider Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, to be a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission after Republican President Donald Trump nominated her late on Tuesday.

Attempts to get Rosenworcel's re-nomination at the end of the last Congress faltered in acrimony between Senate Republicans and Democrats.

Former Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had taken to the Senate floor in April 2016 to call for a vote on Rosenworcel's renomination, in the process saying majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had broken his word to act on Rosenworcel after the Democrats agreed previous year to vote out Republican commissioner Michael O'Rielly.

Although Rosenworcel is a strong advocate for net neutrality - going against both the president and the current FCC chair's agenda - she is more centrist than Clyburn.

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.

ACA chief Matt Polka encouraged the Senate to confirm her quickly upon her official nomination. Recode recently pegged Brendan Carr, now general counsel for Ajit Pai's FCC, as the favorite for the Republican slot. But no Republican candidate has been announced yet.

"We congratulate Jessica Rosenworcel and look forward to working closely to promote competition and fairness to all Americans", said Public Knowledge President Gene Kimmelman. If so, that would still leave the FCC with just three commissioners, two Republican and one Democratic. She had the public backing of many congressional Democrats, including Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, who formally recommended her to Trump for the open FCC post.

AT&T Inc. praised Trump for his intention to nominate Rosenworcel to another term at the FCC. Republican senators didn't want Rosenworcel to stay on the FCC at the time because it would have resulted in a 2-2 deadlock.

"This appointment rights a wrong, because she deserved confirmation a year ago, and should have been sitting on the Commission all along", Georgetown Law lecturer Andrew Schwartzman, an attorney who specializes in media and telecommunications policy, said in a statement provided to Ars. In that event, the Clyburn seat could be paired with the new Republican and Rosenworcel paired with Pai, whose term also ends in June.

She also publicly supported the Digital Learning Equity Act in 2015, a piece of legislation that would have enabled low-income families and students to access critical education technology through the construction of broadband infrastructure in community centers, libraries and non-profits.

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