‘Confirm Rosenworcel as chair,’ says former FCC commissioner
Former US telecoms regulator Mike O’Rielly has criticised the Biden administration for failing to confirm Jessica Rosenworcel as chair of the body.
O’Rielly (pictured), who was a member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2013 – when he was appointed by President Barack Obama – until December 2020, said he was “shocked at where we are”, because Rosenworcel is still acting chairwoman of the regulator.
President Joe Biden made Rosenworcel acting chairwoman of the FCC the day after his inauguration in January 2021, but has neither confirmed her in that position nor nominated anyone else. His lack of action means that the FCC is evenly split between two Democrat commissioners and two Republicans, making it hard to take decisions.
Speaking at a conference on 6G, O’Rielly, who is a Republican, said that in Rosenworcel “you have someone who knows the subject who and makes the agency work”. He said that she “is a friend of mine” but called on the administration to confirm her, expressing his dismay at “someone so capable being set aside”.
He urged the Biden administration not to appoint someone from outside to chair the FCC. A “newbie would set the FCC back a couple of years”, said O’Rielly, who is now a member of the international advisory council of APCO Worldwide, an advisory and advocacy communications consultancy.
O’Rielly posted a video of his remarks on Twitter and added the comment: “While I’m not engaging or advocating in any FCC proceeding, I am completely perplexed by [the] situation.”