Following the vote to fund the federal government and its debt obligations, the Senate proceeded to clear a number of Executive Branch nominations by unanimous consent. Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, was a high-profile name on that list and is now confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to Japan. However, not making the cut were Tom Wheeler and Michael O’Rielly, nominated to be FCC Chairman and FCC Commissioner respectively. Senate leaders reportedly attempted to fast-track the nominations, but they were held up by an anonymous objection. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) expressed disappointment, "If the government is going to fully function for the American people, we have to get these highly qualified nominees confirmed now.”
Update: The office of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has confirmed that he is blocking unanimous consent passage of the FCC Chairman nomination until he gets more answers from Mr. Wheeler regarding the idea of implementing controversial DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 148) requirements by FCC rulemaking.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: October 18, 2013