Monday, November 21, 2016

Two Lawmarkers Drop Rosenworcel Blocking Effort

Jessica Rosenwarcel
Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel’s winding road to reconfirmation took another sharp twist on Friday after two Democratic senators who had vowed to block a vote dropped their objections.

Spokeswomen for Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Ed Markey (Mass.) told Morning Consult that the lawmakers lifted the formal objections, or “holds,” to Rosenworcel’s confirmation vote that they submitted on Thursday.

The sudden about-face was sparked by discussions between Rosenworcel and the senators following Thursday’s unproductive Federal Communications Commission meeting. The FCC abruptly removed nearly all items from the meeting’s agenda, with Chairman Tom Wheeler blaming the move on commissioners concerned about a warning from GOP lawmakers against “controversial” actions. Both Wyden and Markey appeared to blame canceled votes on Rosenworcel.

“Senator Wyden was assured that Commissioner Rosenworcel is committed to working toward consensus on all items before the commission this year, including the Mobility Fund, and has lifted his hold on her nomination,” Wyden spokeswoman Rebecca Steele said in an email statement to Morning Consult on Friday.

The Mobility Fund promotes broadband in rural areas, and it was slated for an expansion vote on Thursday.

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