Republican FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly sees his service at the agency coming to an end regardless of the outcome of the presidential election. He confirmed that at Wednesday’s monthly meeting. He didn’t say when he intends to depart.
O’Rielly also said, “While there’s been speculation over whether I would return to the Commission under certain circumstances, I do not seek for anyone to pursue my continued service at the Commission beyond my current term.” That seems to dismiss interest in returning to a potential open GOP seat next year under a possible Biden administration. That administration would likely heed GOP recommendations from Capitol Hill, where O’Rielly remains popular, reported Politico.
He listed his key priorities from his nearly seven years at the agency, such as freeing more licensed and unlicensed airwaves for the wireless industry and restricting the spending of 911 consumer fees to 911 services. All of his fellow Commissioners praised him personally, his work, and said they considered him a friend.
O’Rielly has been at the FCC since 2013. He was up for a third term and awaiting Senate confirmation when President Trump withdrew his nomination this summer. Last month, the President nominated NTIA Senior Advisor Nathan Simington to replace O’Rielly. Experts disagree whether the Senate has time to confirm Simington, with the dwindling number of legislative days left on the calendar this year.