Senators to Explore Wheeler Nomination Tuesday

Tom Wheeler, President Obama’s nominee to be the next FCC Chairman, will sit before the Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday. Wheeler is a managing director at Core Capital Partners, a Washington investment firm, and a Board Member for EarthLink. He led the National Cable Television Association in the early 1980s and the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) from 1992 to 2004. He was also a key Obama campaign ally in 2008 and 2012.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) last month responded to Wheeler’s nomination, “I respect President Obama’s decision to nominate Tom Wheeler as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He has a long and diverse career in both communications policy and business.” Senator Rockefeller has highlighted among his key agenda items for the FCC an interoperable public safety communications network funded by the spectrum auction, an expanded E-Rate program to aid school and library telecommunications, and broadband access for all. Given the FCC’s spectrum proceeding, that is likely to be a key area of interest for Senators, as will net neutrality and other topics.

President Obama has not yet announced a nominee to replace former Commissioner Robert McDowell, though it is anticipated that the Republican nominee will be packaged with Wheeler’s nomination to smooth the Senate confirmation process. Wheeler’s hearing will be webcast on the Senate Commerce Committee website next Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: June 14, 2013