FCC logjam may end soon

Meredith Attwell BakerThe stalemate over the confirmation of FCC nominees, including that of President Obama's choice to lead the commission, Julius Genachowski, could be ending soon.

Senate Republicans appear to have settled on former Commerce Department official Meredith Attwell Baker and current FCC commissioner Robert McDowell as the two GOP commissioners, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing officials close to the process.

Genachowski has been awaiting confirmation since early March. His confirmation hearing was originally scheduled for May 12 but was postponed. Obama also has nominated Mignon Clyburn for an open commission seat on the Democrat side.

If the logjam over the nominees ends, Genachowski's confirmation hearing could occur in June, with the remaining nominees vetted thereafter. Acting chairman Michael Copps currently heads the commission.

The fight over nominees has forced FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein to remain at the FCC. Adelstein is slated to head the Rural Utilities Service, but cannot take that position until a new nominee is confirmed to take his seat. The FCC is in the midst of coordinating a plan for a massive expansion of nationwide broadband access, as well as the June 12 digital TV transition.    

For more:
- see this WSJ blog post (sub. req.)

Related Articles:
Genachowski's nomination delayed until after Memorial Day
Senate moving on Genachowski nomination next week
Obama to nominate Mignon Clyburn for FCC seat
Obama officially nominates Genachowski to head FCC
Obama's budget calls for new wireless spectrum fees
Obama names Copps acting FCC chairman