On a 49 – 46 vote, the US Senate on December 9 confirmed Nathan Simington to be a Commissioner at the FCC. Simington previously served as a senior advisor at the US Department of Commerce. Earlier, he was a legal associate at various law firms, often specializing in finance.
Upon being sworn in, he will take the seat of Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, whose renomination was pulled by President Donald Trump last summer, shortly before it was to go to the Senate floor.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced last week that he will depart on January 20, opening a seat for incoming President Joe Biden to appoint a new commissioner to form a new 3 – 2 Democratic majority. Biden then could either designate that new commissioner as chairman, or select one of the two sitting Democrats already on the Commission, Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks. Biden also could designate one of the two sitting Democrats as Acting Chairman to manage the FCC until his new pick has been confirmed by the Senate and sworn in. Until that happens, the FCC will have a 2 – 2 party split.