Washington - Jun 3, 2009 - While the Federal Communications Commission limps along with a short bench (only three of five seats are currently occupied), one of the sitting commissioners will likely keep his expired post. President Obama has stated his intent to renominate Robert McDowell (R) for a new five-year term.
McDowell joined the FCC when he filled the unexpired term of former FCC Chairman Michael Powell in May 2006. McDowell's term ended June 1, 2009, but he could retain his post until this session of Congress ends or someone else is nominated to take his seat. Before his time at the FCC, McDowell was senior vice president and assistant general at Comptel, an organization that represents telecommunications companies.
The commission is still functioning under an acting chairman. Michael Copps is holding that spot until the Senate confirms Julius Genachowski (D) for that post. Also pending Senate approval is the nomination of Mignon Clyburn (D) to take the seat vacated by Deborah Taylor-Tate.
That leaves one Republican seat open. It's not clear who will be nominated for that seat. Several names are being circulated.
Even when these appointments are confirmed, there will be one more FCC seat to fill. President Obama has nominated current FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein (D) for a seat on the Rural Utilities Commission. Adelstein will remain at the FCC until that confirmation is announced.