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Trump Nominates Democrat to Return to FCC Post

June 14, 2017, 2:47 PM UTC

The U.S. Senate will again consider Jessica Rosenworcel for the Federal Communications Commission after President Donald Trump nominated her late on Tuesday in a move that would return her to the regulatory agency.

Rosenworcel, a Democrat, served as an FCC commissioner until the end of 2016 when lawmakers failed to take up her re-nomination under former President Barack Obama, handing Republicans a 2-1 majority on the five-seat commission.

The White House announced the decision in a late-night statement on Tuesday. Trump, a Republican, must still fill the final open FCC commissioner slot.

Rosenworcel did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Her nomination comes as the agency aims to reverse Obama-era regulations, including the former Democratic president’s landmark 2015 net-neutrality rules prohibiting broadband providers from giving or selling access to certain internet services over others.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, tapped by Trump in January, has also said he wants to dismantle other significant regulations as part of a sweeping review that he said would remove barriers to business and modernize rules.

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If confirmed, Rosenworcel would join Democratic commissioner Mignon Clyburn, whose term ends on June 30. It is not clear if Clyburn plans to stay on the commission.

Industry and congressional officials also expect Trump to nominate Brendan Carr, a Republican who is currently general counsel at the FCC and an adviser to Pai, to an open seat.

Republican Michael O’Rielly also serves on the panel.

Pai would be forced to leave the commission if he is not reconfirmed by the end of the year.