Senate Commerce Committee Sends Sohn FCC Nomination to Full Senate for Vote

(Image credit: C-SPAN)

WASHINGTON—The Senate Commerce Committee has voted to send the nomination of FCC Commissioner candidate Gigi Sohn to the full senate for a vote. The committee voted along party lines, 14-14, making her eligible for a floor vote, but without a recommendation. 

If approved, Sohn would be the fifth and final commissioner to be approved to the commission, which has been split 2-2 politically for more than a year. 

Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), committee chair, stressed the importance of the Biden administration’s broadband policies in casting her vote to approve. Ranking member Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said he couldn’t approve Sohn’s nomination due to concerns over conflicts of interest, despite her promise to recuse herself when issues of her public advocacy were addressed by the commission. 

The NAB had initially voiced “serious concerns” over her nomination over her support of the Locast streaming service that broadcasters had shut down last year over copyright violations. The association changed its tune after Sohn said she would recuse herself from retrans and broadcast copyright issues. 

It is not yet clear when the senate will vote on her nomination. 

Tom Butts

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 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 (, 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.