Senate Confirms FCC Commissioner O'Rielly to Full Term

Had been serving out unexpired term of commissioner McDowell

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday (Dec. 17) to a full, five-year, term on the commission. He had been filling out the unexpired term of Rob McDowell, which ended June 30, though commissioners are allowed to continue serving for what can be an extended period before being officially confirmed to a new term.

the President re-nominated him in October. (

O’Rielly has been a commissioner since November 2013. Before that he was policy advisor in the Office of the Senate Republican Whip.

Given that he had already been voted and vetted, the re-nomination was pretty much of a slam dunk.

“I sincerely appreciate the Members of the U.S. Senate for considering and ultimately confirming me to a new term at the Federal Communications Commission," O'Rielly told MultiChannel News. "I will do my best to fulfill the trust they have placed in me and continue to meet the obligations of my role at the Commission.  My colleagues have been enormously supportive and I look forward to working with them on the complex communications issues before us. “

"I congratulate Mike on his confirmation for a full term as Commissioner. He works diligently to improve the lives of all Americans through expanded access to 21st century communications and technology," said FCC Chairman Tom wheeler. "I look forward to continuing to collaborate with him on the important issues before the Commission.”

"“I am proud to call Commissioner Mike O’Rielly both a colleague and a friend," said Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. "I have seen firsthand his deep interest in the issues before the Federal Communications Commission and his long-standing commitment to public service.  I look forward to continuing to work with him and I congratulate him on his reconfirmation as a Commissioner at the FCC.”

"We congratulate Mike O'Rielly on his confirmation for a new term at the FCC," said National Cable & Telecommunications Association President and former Republican FCC commissioner and Chairman Michael Powell. "Commissioner O’Rielly has been a passionate advocate for forward-looking policies that promote competitive, marketplace solutions which enable today’s vibrant communications sector to deliver consumers a growing array of new choices and exciting services.  We look forward to working with Commissioner O’Rielly over the coming years."

“On behalf of CTIA and its member companies, we congratulate Commissioner O’Rielly on his reconfirmation to the FCC and thank him for his continued dedication to public service," said CTIA-The Wireless Association President Meredith Attwell Baker, herself a former Republican FCC commissioner. "He understands the challenges that the wireless industry faces, and we appreciate his commitment to helping address those challenges in ways that encourage continued investment, innovation and American leadership. We look forward to continuing to work with Commissioner O’Rielly on the full range of issues before the FCC.”

"NAB congratulates Commissioner O'Rielly on his confirmation to a full five-year FCC term. We deeply appreciate his commitment to public service, his grasp of difficult public policy issues, and his acknowledgement of the enduring value of broadcast localism," said National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith.

"I congratulate Commissioner Mike O’Rielly on his recent Senate confirmation to a full term at the FCC," said fellow Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai. "Mike has proven to be a hardworking, principled advocate for free markets, the rule of law, and the consumer interest during his time at the Commission. I’m proud to call him a friend and colleague, and I look forward to working closely with him in the years ahead."

The two have teamed up to criticize FCC process and some of the actions taken by the Democratic majority to tighten FCC rules on TV station sharing arrangements, and more recently to raise the spending cap on the FCC's E-rate program and make changes to the Connect America Fund subsidies for rural broadband.

“The American Cable Association congratulates FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly on being confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a full five-year term at the agency," said ACA president Matt Polka. "During his time at the FCC, Commissioner O'Rielly has demonstrated a keen understanding of both the law and the industry.  He has recognized that imposing burdensome regulations on broadband providers can inhibit innovation and investment.  He also understands that the FCC should use its limited funds to focus on bringing broadband service to the highest-cost unserved areas where competing providers are unlikely to offer service--ensuring all Americans receive the best broadband service most efficiently."