Federal Communications Commission commissioner Michael Copps has given the president his resignation date, Jan. 1, which Copps said he submitted to the White House Dec. 5.
He said he would leave sooner if his successor is confirmed before that or if Congress adjourns. The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a Dec. 8 vote on his planned successor, Jessica Rosenworcel, top communications adviser to that committee and former top aide to Copps. But Sen. Charles Grassley has threatened to put a hold on her nomination, as well as that of Republican pick Ajit Pai, when the nominations come to a full Senate vote. Still, several lobbyists have said they think Grassley's concerns may be assuaged and the pair confirmed by Christmas. Congress is unlikely to adjourn. If past is prologue, it will continue in pro forma session until the new Congress convenes in order to prevent recess appointments by the President.
Copps said early this year he would be exiting when his term expired. He has been on the commission for a decade and said in an exit interview that he thought he had accomplished about all he was going to there.
"It has been a privilege and honor to serve for more than ten years as a Commissioner," said Copps in a statement. "The FCC is an agency of true excellence and its decisions are integral to our country's future. Ubiquitous, opportunity-creating broadband and a resource-rich media capable of informing our civic dialogue are critically important components of our future success as a people, and I intend to keep speaking about these challenges as a private citizen in the years ahead.
"It has been the highest honor to serve with my colleagues on the Commission. I thank them all for their dedication, collegiality and friendship. I also owe an enormous debt to the Commission staff. Their professionalism and dedication to the public-interest stands as a model of government service."