Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel replaces Ajit Pai, is now acting FCC chairwoman

Enlarge / Jessica Rosenworcel answers a question during a Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing to examine the Federal Communications Commission on June 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Jonathan Newton)

President Joe Biden today appointed Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to be the acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission. Rosenworcel became an FCC commissioner in 2012 and served in a Democratic majority during the Obama years and in a Democratic minority during the Trump years.

“I am honored to be designated as the Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission by President Biden,” Rosenworcel said in a statement. “I thank the President for the opportunity to lead an agency with such a vital mission and talented staff. It is a privilege to serve the American people and work on their behalf to expand the reach of communications opportunity in the digital age.”

With ex-Chairman Ajit Pai having left the FCC yesterday, there is a 2-2 split between Democrats and Republicans. To form a 3-2 Democratic majority, Biden will have to nominate a new commissioner and secure confirmation from the Senate—which shouldn’t be too difficult now that Democrats control the chamber. Biden’s decision to promote Rosenworcel from commissioner to acting chairwoman does not require Senate approval.

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