FCC Nominees in Waiting Stay That Way

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With the Senate having left town, it looks like there will be no new Federal Communications Commission commissioners until at least January, and perhaps longer if Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) applies his threatened hold on the nominations over LightSquared.

Given that anything can happen, there is still some outside chance of a Christmas miracle, with the Senate having to come back to vote on some payroll tax extension and taking the opportunity to vote on nominations, but that is not likely.

Left to cool their heels for now are Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel, who hope to take the vacant seat of Republican Meredith Attwell Baker and the soon-to-be vacant seat of Democrat Michael Copps, respectively. Both nominations were approved by the Senate Commerce Committee, but could not get floor time for votes in the full Senate due to the battle over end-of-the year legislative packages,

Also failing to get Senate floor votes were FCC chairman Jon Leibowitz and Republican nominee Maureen Ohlhausen. Ohlhausen joins Pai and Jessica in the green room as it were, since she is a new nominee, but Leibowitz can continue serving. Although his term was up in 2010, FTC Commissioners can serve in perpetuity or until a successor/replacement has been confirmed.

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