The Senate Commerce Committee has slated a nomination hearing for Tuesday, November 10. Nathan Simington, President Trump’s nominee to replace Michael O’Rielly on the FCC, is to be one of three nominees at the hearing. The scheduling came after President Trump urged speedy action, according to Reuters. “Republicans need to get smart and confirm Nate Simington to the FCC ASAP!” Trump tweeted recently.
Pressure is building to push the full Senate to confirm NTIA Advisor Simington to the FCC by the end of December. That’s when O’Rielly will need to exit. O’Rielly said recently he’ll leave the agency regardless of the outcome of the election, Inside Towers reported.
If the Senate doesn’t fill the GOP seat this year, Republicans would no longer have a majority at the agency going into 2021; each party would have two seats and many issues could be deadlocked.
Such a vacancy could also give the Commission a Biden-era FCC a Democratic majority sooner, notes Politico.