Earlier this week, President Obama nominated Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai as commissioners at the FCC. At the time, it was expected both nominees would sail through the confirmation process. But as Cecilia Kang at the Washington Post reports, an unexpected roadblock has appeared:
On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) submitted in a Congressional statement directed to President Obama that he would object to the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai as commissioners at the FCC.
The reason for Sen. Grassley’s objection is his ongoing investigation into a special waiver the FCC gave to satellite broadband upstart LightSquared, which has encountered problems with building out a planned nationwide LTE network due to interference concerns. As Kang reports:
...Grassley said he would stand in the way because of the FCC chairman’s denial of requests for documents in his six-month-long investigation of the regulatory process of LightSquared’s satellite venture.
Staff for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski say they have cooperated with Grassley, but that his committee doesn’t have oversight over the agency and can’t make document requests.
Evidently Sen. Grassley doesn’t believe the commission fully cooperated, hence his objection to the two nominees. Stay tuned…