President Bush said today he will nominate Republican Tennessee regulatory commissioner Deborah Tate to fill the FCC seat that has remained empty since March.
A number of events including hurricanes in the Southeast, the death of Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist and the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day OConnor have caused the White House to put the FCC nomination on the back burner. The seat was vacated when Kevin Martin was named FCC chairman earlier this year after Michael Powell left the position. This also left the commission evenly split with two Democrats and two Republicans.
If confirmed, Debi Tate will be an excellent addition to the commission, said FCC Chairman Martin in a news release. She has a distinguished career in state government, and she has worked closely with the commission in her role as director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.
Walter B. McCormick Jr., president and CEO of USTelecom, also lauded Tates nomination.
This is a critical time for the telecom industry with technologies and the marketplace rapidly evolving and we applaud President Bush for nominating Deborah Tate, a strong, experienced candidate, to the FCC, he said in a statement. With the presidents goal of achieving universal broadband deployment by 2007, Congress preparing to update the nations communications laws and technology forging ahead, the FCC is at the center of todays communications debate.
Tate now faces Senate confirmation hearings.
Bush also said he will reappoint Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps for another term. Martin says he looks forward to continuing to work with Copps.
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