President Nominates FCC Commissioner

President Biden has sent to the Senate his nominee to serve as Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). If the Senate confirms veteran governmental attorney Anna Gomez, the regulatory agency makeup would include three Democrats and two Republicans.

Gomez is an advisor for international information and communications policy in the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy. She previously served as deputy administrator for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and also worked for 12 years in various roles at the FCC.

Gomez’s nomination is a critical one for the FCC, which has an acting Democratic chair in Jessica Rosenworcel, but an effective 2-2 tie between its Republican and Democratic members.

Biden previously nominated Gigi Sohn for the commissioner’s post in late 2021, but she pulled herself from consideration earlier this year. Because she has been an outspoken supporter of net neutrality, Sohn faced tense opposition from lobbyists tied to the telecom industry.

With the announcement of Gomez, Biden also said he intends to nominate the FCC’s other Democratic commissioner, Geoffrey Starks, to a new five-year term, and one of the Republican commissioners, Brendan Carr, to a new term.

If Carr, Starks and Gomez are confirmed by the Senate, the FCC would have a Democratic majority for the first time since Biden took office. Such a majority is necessary if the Biden administration intends to follow through on its campaign promises of internet accessibility and affordability, as well as to reinstitute some net neutrality rules.