McConnell Readies Vote on Simington FCC Nom, Dems Opposed

Nathan Simington
(Image credit: CSPAN)

UPDATE 12/8, 10:10 a.m.: TVT's sister publication Multichannel News has reported that a Senate confirmation vote is scheduled for today, Dec. 8.

WASHINGTON—Nathan Simington’s nomination to be an FCC commissioner could be voted on as soon as Tuesday, Dec. 8, according to reports. However, Democratic senators oppose the nomination and are working to deny his confirmation.

TVT’s sister publication Next|TV has cited multiple reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has filed a cloture motion to end the debate on Simington’s nomination for the FCC seat that is being vacated by Commissioner Michael O’Rielly.

Meanwhile, per Multichannel News, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are teaming with civil society groups against Simington’s nomination and hope to convince other senators to do the same.

Simington was nominated by President Donald Trump after O’Rielly’s nomination for another term as an FCC commissioner was rescinded following comments he made questioning whether the FCC had the authority to review Sec. 230 of the Communications Decency Act, something President Trump has been adamant about.

Simington works for the National Telecommunications & Information Association (NTIA), the president’s chief communications policy advisory arm. Simington testified that he had at least some involvement in NTIA’s petition to the FCC to review Sec. 230, and it was later reported that he reached out to Fox News to push coverage on the effort.

Sen. Blumenthal has cited these incidents as reasons why Simington’s nominations should be blocked. Simington, during his testimony, did not say whether or not he would abstain from voting on an FCC review of Sec. 230, but said he would follow the FCC Ethics team’s recommendation.