With Congress likely to break for home Friday, a few lawmakers are attempting
to seat Jonathan Adelstein at the Federal Communications Commission after months
of partisan infighting.
In recent weeks, both Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Sen. Jean Carnahan
(D-Mo.) have voiced support for extricating Adelstein from the feud between
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Senate Democrats over the
treatment of at least two White House judicial nominees.
Adelstein -- a 39-year-old aide to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle
(D-S.D.), who was unanimously approved by the Senate Commerce Committee in July
-- became a pawn in the battle when Lott declared that he would block Adelstein
for the FCC, where Republicans hold a 3-1 advantage.
On Oct. 9, Sen. Jean Carnahan (D-Mo.) sent Lott a letter urging him to
withdraw his objections to Adelstein because as an FCC member, he would be
committed to helping rural states like Missouri and Mississippi. Adelstein is a
South Dakota native.
'I do not believe the FCC devotes enough attention to the unique challenges
facing rural providers, but I am convinced that Mr. Adelstein would be a strong
advocate for such carriers,' Carnahan wrote.
Earlier in the month, Dorgan complained at a Commerce Committee hearing about
the lack of action on Adelstein's nomination. Dorgan said it was 'unforgivable'
that the FCC was operating short one member with key decisions