President Joe Biden on Tuesday re-nominated his choices to fill out the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and finally give the two agencies Democratic control.
Biden re-upped the nominations of Gigi Sohn to fill a commissioner seat at the FCC and Alvaro Bedoya to fill a commissioner seat at the FTC. Both Sohn and Bedoya were nominated by the president to fill the roles last year, but neither of them received a vote in the Senate before the end of the year.
Because they did not get a full vote, their nominations technically expired when Congress’s session ended at the end of the year. Biden needed to re-nominate them to the Senate.
While Sohn did not receive a committee vote, Bedoya did. His nomination was deadlocked at 14-14 but was still sent to the full Senate, which did not act.
Both Sohn and Bedoya are critical for the agencies to push through their agendas. If confirmed, they would both secure a 3-2 Democratic majority at their respective agencies.
For the FCC, that would give them the necessary votes to go through a rulemaking process to restore net neutrality rules. At the FTC, the agency could use the majority to explore a number of things, like privacy rules.
In a wide-spanning executive order signed over last summer, the Biden administration has urged the FCC to restore net neutrality rules, and likewise urged the FTC to “establish rules on surveillance and the accumulation of data.”
Both Sohn and Bedoya faced opposition from Republicans during their confirmation hearings. However, both of the nominees have drawn rave reviews from public interest groups and others.
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