As of today, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell is able to participate in all FCC votes.
McDowell has had to abstain from several important voting sessions because he was a lawyer for competitive carrier association COMPTEL prior to his June 1, 2006, appointment.
McDowell could have taken part in the AT&T Inc.-BellSouth Corp. merger vote in December, according to analysis from the FCCs legal counsel, but he declined on grounds of conflict of interest. He said he had promised the Senate that he would recuse himself for one year on any matter in which COMPTEL is a party, or represents a party.
The Republican now is free to act in all FCC matters, including the various LEC forbearance petitions set for FCC action or inaction later this year. It is not known how he leans on such matters, since his input has been limited over the past 12 months.