Sen. Markey Urges Fellow Senators to Back FCC Commissioner Nomination Gigi Sohn
Massachusetts Democrat thinks opposition may be partly due to homophobia
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate committee tasked with vetting FCC commissioners, is urging his fellow senators to advance the nomination of Gigi Sohn as the agency's newest commissioner.
The FCC has been without a fifth member since Chairman Ajit Pai resigned two years ago. Sohn’s nomination, which was put forth by President Biden in October 2021, lacks enough votes from Democrats on the Commerce committee—which is in charge of FCC nominations—to confirm her to the commission. Republicans—who have called for a third hearing—oppose her largely because of her support for net neutrality, however Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, raised the specter that such opposition may be about more than that.
“It is outrageous that the FCC has gone without a full slate of commissioners while the nomination of the supremely qualified and prepared nominee, Gigi Sohn, languishes amidst lies and homophobia,” he said.
If approved, Sohn—who was renominated by President Biden earlier this month would be the first openly gay FCC commissioner in history. The commission also made history in 2022 when Jessica Rosenworcel became its first permanent female chairman.
Markey went on to say that “the work of the Commission—from net neutrality to closing the digital divide—is too important for this nomination to be delayed any further. Gigi Sohn is President Biden’s nominee, and Congress should confirm her as soon as possible.
“As a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and a longtime advocate for advancing telecommunications equity and access, I will continue to fight back against baseless attacks and push for swift confirmation.”
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Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.