Anna Gomez confirmed as fifth FCC Commissioner

But vote divided mostly among partisan lines as five Republicans cross over to vote for her

After three years of waiting, the FCC finally got their fifth member as Anna Gomez was finally voted in by the Senate to serve

But as a confirmation vote in the past would sail through the Senate easily with both members of either party in support, that wasn’t the case this time as 43 Republicans voted against Gomez, despite more than efficient credentials. Chalk it up to the polarized political atmosphere we’re in, prevalent in the issues the FCC deals with – even before Trump was elected President in 2016. 

“Confirming Ms. Gomez would harm taxpayers, broadband investment and innovation, and, most importantly, our First Amendment freedoms,” said Republican Senator Ted Cruz, the last point obviously referring to the FCC license challenge against Fox’s WTXF in Philadelphia from a group consisting of several Fox executives including Preston Padden and Jamie Kellner, who question Rupert Murdoch’s ability to hold broadcast licenses after Fox News agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems nearly $800 million for defaming the company by falsely claiming the firm rigged the elections against Trump. Fox Television Stations (including Fox 32 and My 50 here) and Fox News are a part of Fox Corporation. 

Five Republicans crossed over and voted for Gomez: Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mike Rounds (S.D.) and Todd Young (Indiana.)

Congratulations and well-wishes were rolling in Thursday afternoon, including from former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, who served as a Republican during his time on the commission and is now president of NCTA – The Internet and Television Association – quite the stark contrast from the chilly rejection she got from others in the same party who are currently in office.

Earlier, Republicans opposed another Democratic nominee in Gigi Sohn, as most voiced their opposition from day one saying she was too “radical” for the job given her past activism against Fox News. She withdrew her nomination as Biden has struggled to fill the vacant seat since he became President in 2021.  

A telecom lawyer, Gomez is the first Latina woman at the FCC to be voted in as commissioner in more than twenty years, and previously served as a senior adviser on communications policy at the State Department, where she has a lot of experience. 

“Congratulations to Anna Gomez on her confirmation by the United States Senate,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement. “Anna brings with her a wealth of telecommunications experience, a substantial record of public service, and a history of working to ensure the United States stays on the cutting edge of keeping us all connected.”  

With the confirmation, the FCC now has a three-to-two advantage at the commission, breaking the three years-long partisan stalemate and is expected to take up issues such as net neutrality (repealed after Trump was elected into office), possible reregulation of the industry despite the fact the Supreme Court upheld the previous FCC’s decision to ax the cross-ownership rules

The commission would also have to deal with current pending issues at the FCC such as the DirecTV lawsuit against Nexstar over its affiliation with Mission and White Knight Broadcasting circumventing the ownership rules, and opposition from cable and satellite providers over the sale of new Detroit CW affiliate WADL-TV to Mission. This also comes at a time when linear TV is on the verge of collapse. 

In other words, they have a lot of work to do. 


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