WASHINGTON, June 18, 2009 – The Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday voted to advance the nominations of Julius Genachowski (D) and Robert McDowell (R) to serve on the Federal Communications Commission.
If approved by the full Senate, Genachowski would serve as chairman and McDowell would serve a second term on the regulatory body.
“Julius Genachowski has my resounding support,” Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., said in a statement. “He offers the public and private sector experience needed to reinvigorate the FCC and put consumers first.”
Although he voted to advance McDowell out of committee “in the spirit of bipartisanship,” Rockefeller said he has “concerns” about the choice: “I want to be clear that I have high expectations that Mr. McDowell will show great independence from the industries he regulates,” he said. “I hope I am not disappointed.”
While information regarding a final passage vote for either nominee was available from Senate leadership, Rockefeller indicated he would briefly place a “hold” on McDowell’s nomination so McDowell could answer questions regarding his commitment to sustaining the E-Rate program, which uses Universal Service Fund dollars to connect schools and libraries to the internet.