Senate Nominee O'Rielly Vote Postponed

Senate Commerce Cancels Oct. 3 Executive Session

Looks like the FCC will have to remain short-handed a bit longer.

In a government shutdown-related move, the Senate Commerce Committee has canceled Thursday's (Oct. 3) executive session, at which it was supposed to vote on the nomination of Michael O'Rielly to succeed Rob McDowell in the open Republican seat on the Federal Communications Commission.

"The committee can't operate normally when there is a government shutdown," a committee staffer said, adding that staffers probably should not be talking to the press because that is not considered one of the core legislative functions to which they are apparently limited under the shutdown.

O'Rielly's approval by the committee, which is expected, would then pave the way for a full Senate vote on both his nomination and that of FCC chair nominee Tom Wheeler, whose nomination has already been approved by the committee.

No new date was listed for the vote. Among the other nominees not getting a vote Thursday is Terrell McSweeney, Democratic nominee for the Federal Trade Commission.

The FCC is currently at its minimum three members, two Democrats and one Republican. The FTC is at four members, two Democrats and two Republicans.