The 14-12 approval for the Republican nominee tees up what is likely to be a hotly contested vote before the full Senate.
If confirmed, Simington’s presence on the commission would leave it at a 2-2 partisan deadlock when current chair Ajit Pai steps down on Jan. 20. Republicans could make it difficult for President-elect Joe Biden to break that tie, posing problems for his policy objectives.
However, it is not yet clear whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) intends to bring the nomination up for a floor vote given the limited legislative time left in the year.
President Trump nominated Simington, a senior adviser at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), after pulling the renomination of Republican Commissioner Mike O'Rielly in August.