President Biden's Broadband Agenda Is at a Do-or-Die Moment

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Net neutrality and the rest of President Joe Biden's broadband agenda hang in the balance as the president's nominee for the deadlock-breaking fifth commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission awaits a vote in the US Senate. But the process has stalled for nine months and time is running out. Gigi Sohn, a longtime public-interest advocate and former FCC adviser, was nominated in October 2021 to be the third Democrat at the agency. Since then, Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] has faced two contentious Senate confirmation hearings in which Republicans grilled her over her social media activity and other issues, like her criticism of Fox News. With a 50-50 Senate and strong opposition to her nomination from Republicans, every Democrat is needed to get her nomination over the finish line. But with only three weeks left on the Senate calendar before the August recess in an election year, the clock could run out on Sohn's nomination, leaving the FCC without a functional majority. The agency has already gone more than 500 days with a deadlocked 2-2 split between Republicans and Democrats.

Why Biden's Broadband Agenda Is at a Do-or-Die Moment