Amy Schatz of the WSJ reports that a deal has been struck to move the new nominees into the FCC:
Work has slowed to a crawl at the Federal Communications Commission, since President Barack Obamaâ€™s pick to be chairman, Julius Genachowski, is still awaiting Senate confirmation.
But the logjam could be broken soon: Republicans appear to have settled on two people to fill the GOP seats on the five-member board, paving the way for a confirmation hearing in June. Senate Republicans have agreed on former Commerce Department official Meredith Attwell Baker and current FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, officials close to the process say.
This is good news. McDowell has been the best of the FCC commissioners since his appointment, and allowing him a second term is a very bright move. Uncertainty over McDowell’s future was the cause of the slowdown in confirmation hearings, since these things go forward with the whole slate of nominees. So the new FCC is going to look this this:
Chairman Genachowski, new blood
Dem Copps, old hand
Dem Mignon Clyburn, new blood
Rep Meredith Baker, new blood
It’s interesting that Baker and Clyburn are both nepotism candidates, as Clyburn is the daughter of powerful Congressman James Clyburn and Baker is the daughter-in-law of the Bush family’s consigliere, James Baker. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the best Chairman of recent times was Colin Powell’s son, and neither of the daughters is particularly unqualified. But if you want to get a laugh out of Blair Levin, the former “sixth commissioner” who wasn’t nominated, tell him you understand that he’s not qualified to serve on the FCC because his daddy’s not in politics. You won’t get a laugh exactly, more like a moan.
The first item of business for the nominees, once they’re confirmed, will be the list of 120 questions Copps put to the world. Good luck to the Commission with that.