Bush Nominates Martin for New FCC Term

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President Bush nominated Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin to serve a second five-year term at the agency, the White House announced Tuesday.

“I am honored to have been renominated for a second term as commissioner and chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. I thank President Bush for the privilege to continue to serve in his administration," Martin said in a prepared statement.

Because the FCC is an independent agency, Martin technically is not a member of the Bush administration in the executive branch like the heads of the Commerce Department and the Justice Department

Martin joined the FCC in July 2001, nominated by Bush after serving in the White House briefly and working for the 2000 Bush-Cheney ticket. He became FCC chairman in March 2005, replacing Michael Powell.

Martin's term is set to expire in June, but current law allows him to remain at the agency until Congress adjourns in 2007.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is blocking all Bush appointments outside of the military and judiciary until the White House commits to spend $4.1 billion more to reconstruct Gulf Coast levees damaged last summer by Hurricane Katrina.

Landrieu's near-blanket "hold" on Bush nominations has prevented Robert McDowell from taking his seat at the FCC. McDowell, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney for a telecommunications trade association, is a Republican. If he arrives at the FCC, McDowell would give the GOP its first 3-2 majority at the FCC since Powell's departure more than 13 months ago.

"President Bush's announcement today recognizes chairman Martin's successful leadership at the Federal Communications Commission,” Verizon Communications Inc. executive vice president for public affairs, policy and communications Tom Tauke said in a prepared statement.

“Chairman Martin ‘gets it,’ and he gets the job done,” he added, “so his renomination is well-deserved. His competition-focused agenda is moving the United States closer to the president's goal of broadband ubiquity, while his focus on consumers ensures that the deployment of new technologies enriches everyone's lives.”

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