The announcement of Jessica Rosenworcel’s departure as FCC commissioner may have been premature. On Wednesday, January 4th, President Barack Obama renominated her to serve a second term.
“I applaud President Obama’s reappointment of Jessica Rosenworcel to the FCC,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, “and hope that Congress will act quickly to confirm her nomination,”
Her renomination was an unexpected surprise even to Ms. Rosenworcel who had published her farewell message on the FCC Blog a week earlier. The blog highlighted some of her signature policy initiatives during her nearly five year term.
Commenting on Ms. Rosenworcel’s renomination, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla,), ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, told Multichannel News, “This was the right thing to do. Hopefully, Senate GOP leaders will finally live up to their promise to confirm her.”
Realistically, there is little chance that she will gain Senate approval by the time Obama leaves office. Ms. Rosenworcel’s departure and the pending exit of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on January 20th will give Republicans a 2-1 majority on the commission. If she were to rejoin, it would mean a 2-2 split until incoming President Donald Trump gains approval for his nominee to the fifth slot.
Expect President Trump to appoint more business-friendly Republican Commissioners, who may overturn or revise the latest TCPA rulings. Such actions will, of course, disappointment consumer attorneys who have made a lucrative business out of TCPA litigation.