Senate Republicans plan to fight back, rejecting President Biden’s nomination of consumer advocate Gigi Sohn to the Federal Communications Commission.
“I will do everything in my power to convince colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject this extreme nominee,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a tweet yesterday.
Sohn has an experienced career in government policy, having co-founded the consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge in 2001.
In 2013, then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler hired Sohn as an adviser, and the FCC at that time adopted Title II common-carrier and net neutrality regulations for Internet service providers – provisions that were later overturned by President Trump. Sohn continued to push for tough rules to protect telecommunications consumers even after her tenure at the FCC.
Her lobbying for consumer protections has been hard on Senate Republicans, but conservatives are also pessimistic that she will use the FCC to censor them.
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the top Republican on the Commerce Committee that will scrutinize the nomination, countered that Sohn’s nomination is “more problematic” than the re-nomination of Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and that Sohn’s past decisions and positions “could prove to be of concern to members of the committee.”
The FCC has been locked in a 2-2 deadlock between Democrats and Republicans throughout President Biden’s first year in office, as he waited nine months for Sohn to be nominated for the vacant slot.
This has led many progressives to worry that the rapid appointment of a Democratic majority to the FCC would be delayed, delaying the passage of more progressive telecommunications priorities.