Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai Sworn in As FCC Commissioners
On Monday, May 14, Jessica Rosenworcel, and Ajit Pai, were sworn in by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski as FCC Commissioners. For the first time in almost a year, the Commission is once again at full strength. Rosenworcel, a Democrat, fills the seat vacated by Michael Copps who retired from the Commission earlier this year; her term runs through June 30, 2015. Pai, a Republican, replaces Meredith Attwell Baker, who left the FCC in June 2011; his term runs through June 30, 2016.
“I am honored and humbled that President Obama and the United States Senate have entrusted me with the privilege and responsibility of serving as a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission,” Rosenworcel said in a written statement. “I pledge to work with the Administration, the Congress, my fellow Commissioners and the American people to ensure that everyone across this country has access to the best, most reliable communications in the world. In the 21st century, these are the networks that impact everything we do; they are an essential part of our public safety, our economic security and our civic life. They are the key to digital age opportunity. I look forward to working with the exceptionally talented staff of the Federal Communications Commission to address the many important issues before the agency.”
“I was honored to be sworn in as an FCC Commissioner alongside Commissioner Rosenworcel,” Pai said in a written statement. “I am grateful for the warm welcome that was extended to me by Chairman Genachowski, Commissioner McDowell, Commissioner Clyburn and members of the FCC staff. I also want to thank once again President Obama for nominating me and the United States Senate for confirming me. I look forward to working with my new colleagues at the Commission to promote competition and innovation in the communications marketplace that will work for the benefit of all consumers.”
President Barack Obama had nominated Rosenworcel and Pai to the Commission back in November 2011; the Senate approved their nominations earlier this month. Their nominations had been held up since December in an unrelated dispute between the FCC and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) over agency approval of LightSquared’s wireless application. When Grassley received the sought-after documents last month, he lifted a hold on the nominations.
Until Rosenworcel and Pai were sworn in, the FCC had been down to three commissioners since Baker and Copps left the Commission: Two Democrats -- Chairman Julius Genachowski and Mignon Clyburn -- and one Republican -- Robert McDowell. Only three sitting Commissioners may be members of the same political party, and none can have a financial interest in any Commission-related business.
All five Commissioners are expected to participate in the next FCC Open Meeting, scheduled for May 24.