FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn at Second Confirmation Hearing: Opponents Aim to Hamstring Agency
Opposition to President Joe Biden’s pick for the Federal Communications Commission is rooted in a desire to deny Democrats a majority of agency seats, said nominee Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] in prepared testimony for a Senate committee hearing February 9. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a second confirmation hearing for Sohn, who was initially nominated in late 2021, at the request of Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS). Wicker and other Senate Republicans have voiced concerns about Sohn’s record, including her service on the board of now-defunct streaming service Locast. Sohn said in prepared remarks for the hearing that she has “been subject to unrelenting, unfair, and outright false criticism and scrutiny.” Sohn said, “At the same time, I realize that this isn’t all about me. It’s about some wanting to stop the FCC from doing its important work ensuring that everyone in America has robust broadband regardless of who they are, what their income is or where they live, as mandated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.” The National Association of Broadcasters also expressed concern with Sohn’s time at Locast, but have said their concerns were satisfied after Sohn agreed to a narrow, temporary recusal from the two relevant issues at play: retransmission and broadcast copyrights.
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