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Senate Confirms Nathan Simington as FCC Commissioner


Nathan Simington
Nathan Simington

The full Senate on Tuesday confirmed Republican Nathan Simington to a five-year term at the Federal Communications Commission. The longtime telecom lawyer was confirmed in a 49-46 vote, filling the Republican seat previously occupied by Michael O'Rielly, after President Trump declined to renew the sitting Republican commissioner for a new term.

Simington, a senior adviser at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), played a significant role in drafting a petition required under the Trump administration's social media executive order issued over the summer. Democrats had opposed his nomination. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said on the Senate floor on Tuesday that he was "unprepared and unqualified." He called the nomination "dangerous" because it threatened "the independence and political integrity of the FCC."

In a statement NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said, "NAB congratulates Nathan Simington on his confirmation to the Federal Communications Commission. We look forward to working with him and his colleagues on policies that enable broadcasters to best serve their communities at a time when local broadcasters' role to educate and inform Americans has never been more important."

As previously reported, Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, who has been chairman of the agency during the Trump administration, said he will step down on January 20, allowing Biden to appoint a new Democratic chairman and fill the agency's fifth position.

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