Sohn Nomination Hearing Held; No Vote Yet

Posted on February 28th, 2023 by

Gigi Sohn, nominated for a third time by President Biden to be the third Democratically appointed FCC Commissioner, sat for new nomination hearings on February 14 before the Senate Commerce Committee.  The Committee has not yet voted on the nomination, and no vote has been scheduled.

Sohn’s prior two nominations were met with opposition from various groups based on her prior positions related to television station copyright issues and anticipated views on internet regulation.  The administration withdrew her nomination twice when it was clear that there were insufficient votes in the Senate for her approval.  Sohn has stated that she will recuse herself on issues dealing with TV copyrights, but opposition remains, most recently from police groups and non-profit free-speech advocates.  A new law requiring non-discriminatory access to broadband nationwide requires FCC action later this year, but implementation of that law and the desired definitions of discrimination to be adopted by the agency likely turn on a Democratic commissioner majority at the FCC.  The agency has only had four commissioners (two Democratic and two Republican) since former Chairman Ajit Pai’s resignation just prior to President Biden’s inauguration in 2021.  If approved, Sohn’s term would be for five years.