The Winds of Change Blowing Through FCC

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Lately, there has been a lot of news about all the political jockeying at the Federal Communications Commission over who will stay and who will go, plus who must leave and who will be appointed. So we thought a primer on how the FCC works might be in order.

When Donald Trump was elected, he could not just throw out the Democrats because they are appointed for a fixed term, although he can change who the Chair will be. Currently, bets are that the senior Republican Ajit Pai will be the Acting Chair until President Trump selects a permanent Chair. Mignon Clyburn is serving a second five-year term on the Commission which will officially expire on June 30 of 2017. However, there’s a grace period, called a “holdover,” after an FCC commissioner’s term expires, which ends when a replacement is confirmed, or at the end of the congressional session in the year following expiration of their term, whichever comes first. The holdover period for Clyburn ends December 2018. Ajit Pai is the senior Republican on the FCC; he was nominated by President Obama and his term expired on June 30, 2016; his holdover ends this December. Michael O’Rielly, the other Republican and the newest commissioner, was also nominated by President Obama. His term expires in December 2019 and his holdover period ends in December 2020.


The Winds of Change Blowing Through FCC