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Why it matters: President Joe Biden has removed the interim tag from Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, promoting her to full-time Chairwoman. The appointment marks the first time in history that a woman has served in this capacity.
Rosenworcel was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2011. She joined the FCC as a commissioner in 2012 and was nominated for a second term by President Donald Trump in 2017. Some thought she might get the nod as the first female chair when former Chairman Julius Genachowski resigned in 2013, but Tom Wheeler ultimately ended up filling the position.
Wheeler relinquished the position in early 2017 when Trump took office and was succeeded by Ajit Pai, who in turn left this past January when the Biden administration came in. Rosenworcel has served as interim Chairwoman since that time.
The White House also announced that Biden has nominated Gigi B. Sohn as an FCC Commissioner. Sohn worked under Wheeler for a couple of years but left the FCC when Trump came into power. If confirmed, Sohn would be the first openly LGBTIQ+ Commissioner in the history of the FCC.
It’s unclear if the Senate plans to confirm the nominations before the end of the year, or why the president waited so long to make his picks. Nevertheless, should the confirmations be approved, the Democrats would once again enjoy a 3-2 majority over Republicans.