FCC’s Tom Wheeler willing to “step down immediately” to make deal with GOP


FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler testifying before the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee in March 2016. (credit: House Energy and Commerce Committee)

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is willing to leave his post right away if it helps fellow Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel get reconfirmed by the US Senate.

Senate Republicans have been saying for months that they won’t give Rosenworcel another five-year term on the commission unless Wheeler commits to leaving the commission. Since Donald Trump won the presidential election, the commission’s 3-2 Democratic majority will inevitably shift to a Republican majority. But just who will be on the FCC when it’s controlled by the GOP is not certain.

If Wheeler resigns, the Senate could reconfirm Rosenworcel and still get a 3-2 Republican majority after Trump nominates a new Republican commissioner. Alternatively, Republicans could try to get a majority even sooner by pushing Rosenworcel out and hoping Wheeler leaves anyway.

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