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Republican tapped for open FCC slot

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President Obama nominated legislative aide Michael O’Rielly to the Federal Communications Commission post vacated by Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell.

The nomination paves the way for the Senate to hold a vote on the confirmation of Tom Wheeler as the new FCC chairman. Wheeler’s nomination was approved by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on July 30, but Senate Republicans wanted to wait for a Republican nominee before proceeding with a confirmation vote.

O’Rielly is a policy advisor to Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas and has long experience working on technology and telecommuncations issues. He has worked in the whip’s office since 2012, spent time on the Republican Policy Committee in the Senate, and worked as a staffer on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. If confirmed by the Senate, he would serve out the remainder of McDowell’s five-year term, which ends June 30, 2014.

The FCC has been operating shorthanded for a few months now. Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has been leading the FCC as acting chairwoman since Julius Genachowski stepped down in May. McDowell resigned in March.

Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Aug 02, 2013 at 11:06 AM


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