The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee has advanced the nomination of Anna Gomez to serve as a commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), sending it to the Senate floor for a final vote.
President Biden nominated Gomez in May, in a push for a Democratic majority at the agency. The five-seat commission currently sits at a 2-2 split among Republican and Democratic commissioners.
The committee also advanced the nominations of two of the agency’s current commissioners, Republican Brendan Carr and Democrat Geoffrey Starks.
“Ms. Gomez is a dedicated public servant with 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. If confirmed, she will be the first Latina on the commission in more than 20 years,” committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said. “Ms. Gomez has demonstrated she has the experience and judgment to be highly effective in this role as commissioner and has earned bipartisan support for her nomination.”
Gomez currently serves as a senior advisor for international information and communications policy in the FCC’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy. She previously served for 12 years in various positions at the FCC, including as deputy chief of the International Bureau and as senior legal advisor to then-Chairman William E. Kennard.
Gomez’s nomination comes after President Biden’s last nominee, Gigi Sohn, withdrew her nomination after a long, uphill battle over her pick.
Ranking Member Ted Cruz, R-Texas, voiced his opposition to Sohn’s nomination, and also announced that he would not support Gomez’s nomination.
“Unfortunately, based on her vague answers to my questions for the record, I am not confident that Ms. Gomez would actively oppose censorship by the FCC,” Cruz said. “Without that basic prerequisite, I’m unable to support her confirmation.”
For as long as the nomination awaits a final vote, the net result for the Biden administration and the FCC is a 2-2 split that deprives Democrats of the 3-2 majority normally enjoyed by the party that controls the White House – and less leeway for the FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel to pursue her agenda.