Enlarge /. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds a press conference in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.
Getty Images | Tom Williams | CQ appeal
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Has closed the debate over a Trump nomination that would stall the Federal Communications Commission and prepared a vote that could take place as early as next week.
McConnell filed a cloture application yesterday for Trump's nomination of Republican Nathan Simington to the FCC. McConnell's motion came a day after the Senate Commerce Committee voted 14-12 on partisan model to push the Senate nomination forward.
"If Simington is confirmed, the FCC could initially be bogged down 2-2 between Democrats and Republicans when Democratic-elect Joe Biden takes office next month. Some officials believe the Senate may be out of office for months Commission has appointed. " if not longer, "wrote Reuters yesterday.
We have asked McConnell's office when the Simington vote will take place and will update this article when we receive a response.
Simington supports Trump's attack on social media sites
Simington, a Trump administration official who helped draft a petition asking the FCC to simplify the lawsuit against social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, would replace Republican Michael O'Rielly. O & # 39; Rielly's renomination was pulled by Trump after failing to support Trump's attempted crackdown on Twitter and Facebook. O & # 39; Rielly said the first change protects the editorial decisions made by web platforms that host user-generated content.
With Chairman Ajit Pai planning to leave the FCC after Biden's inauguration, the Senate ruling on Simington would mean the difference between a 2-1 Democratic majority and a 2-2 stalemate. Biden should eventually be able to get a 3-2 majority in the FCC, but it could be tough if the Republicans keep control of the Senate after the runoff in Georgia. Republicans currently have a 52 to 48 majority in the Senate and will have between 50 and 52 seats after the runoff elections, depending on the outcome.
FCC Republicans urge deadlock
A Democratic majority FCC could reintroduce the net neutrality rules along with the Title II broadband rule, a way that Republicans are trying to prevent or at least delay. FCC Republican Brendan Carr appeared on Fox Business this week and said, "It would be very valuable to get Simington over the finish line in preventing the billions of dollars of economic damage that I believe a Democratic FCC would disrupt." until from the first day of January or February. "(Despite Carr's claims, the Obama-era Title II regulations and net neutrality rules haven't slowed investment in broadband networks, but major ISPs have cut network spending since the Pai-led FCC deregulated the industry and repealed the rules. )
Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) And Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) Spoke out against Simington's nomination at the trade committee hearing on Wednesday, saying that Simington was not qualified for the position and that he was in his role in the Promotion of Trump got misrepresented attack on social media companies. Blumenthal pledged to fight the nomination across the Senate, saying, "I will continue to do everything I can to hold this nomination and reject it because I think Mr. Simington lacks the qualifications and independence required of an FCC commissioner will."
We have consulted the Blumenthal and Cantwell offices about plans to combat Senate nomination and will update this article if we receive a response. Given the Senate majority of Republicans, there is likely not much they can do unless some Republicans break the party line.