For President Biden's FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn, the clock is running down

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Congress hasn't budged on President Biden's pick for a key tie-breaking Federal Communications Commission seat as the clock ticks down on the chance for a vote. Without confirmation of Biden's nominee, Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow & Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society], the communications regulator will remain deadlocked — hobbling efforts to enact the administration's agenda of expanding broadband access and promoting digital equity. If Sohn, a lawyer and co-founder of the tech and telecom advocacy group Public Knowledge, doesn't win a vote before summer recess, Democrats could lose their chance to fill the seat should Republicans take control of Congress in November 2022. The five-seat FCC has been at two Democrats and two Republicans since the start of the Biden administration. Sohn, seen as the progressives' pick for the agency, faced an uphill battle as opponents seized on outspoken tweets, her involvement with a company hated by the broadcast industry and the opportunity to keep the FCC at 2-2. Left-leaning public interest groups have grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of movement on Sohn's nomination. On the other side, the White House said the administration has pushed just as strongly for Sohn as it has other key nominees, with senior officials engaging with members of Congress. The issue points to a greater pattern of dysfunction in the Biden administration's ability to get executive-level positions confirmed by a Senate with a raz0r-thin Democratic majority.

Clock running out on Biden's stymied FCC nominee