05.31.2006 05:33 PM
Senate approves McDowell for commissioner post

The Senate confirmed Robert McDowell May 26 to serve as a FCC commissioner.

McDowell fills the seat left empty by the December 2005 departure of Kathleen Abernathy. His term will expire in 2009. McDowell comes to the commission after working as a lawyer for Comptel, a telecom trade association representing smaller carriers.

Since December, the commission has operated with Republicans Chairman Kevin Martin and Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate and Democrats Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps, creating a 2-2 party split. With his approval, the Republican McDowell will add a fifth and deciding vote, which is likely to be required to advance work on contentious issues facing the commission, including reform of media ownership rules.

In a statement released following McDowell’s approval, Martin said he is “anxious to have him onboard” and that he looks forward to having “a full complement of Commissioners” to address pending issues.

For more information visit www.fcc.gov.

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