FCC seats now taken
July 27, 2009
U.S. Senators have unanimously approved the nominations of Mignon Clyburn and Meredith Attwell Baker to the two remaining seats on the FCC, filling out the five-seat commission. With support from both aisles, an official vote was not necessary for their confirmation.
The FCC, under the leadership of chairman Julius Genachowski, will now have a full commission for the first time since former commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate's term expired in January. Democrat Michael Copps and Republican Robert McDowell round out the five commissioners.
Both proponents of high-speed and affordable broadband, Clyburn and Baker went before Senators last week to answer questions about their views on a variety of consumer-, media- and technology-related issues in order fill the two remaining FCC commission chairs.
Clyburn is a Democratic regulator from South Carolina and daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn. Baker is a Republican and a former official for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the agency responsible for the DTV converter coupon program.
Baker is fulfilling the unexpired term of former FCC chairman Kevin Martin, which runs through June 30, 2011. Clyburn will serve for five years, taking the seat vacated by Deborah Taylor Tate, whose term expired in January.
While Clyburn said she would stand up for consumer- and public-interest rights, Baker said she would be wary of excessive network neutrality regulations.