Senate Confirms Genachowski To Head FCC, McDowell To Full Term; More FCC Nominees

Almost lost in the news overload: the U.S. Senate confirmed President Obama’s choice of Julius Genachowski to head the Federal Communications Commission, finally moving with speed after several delays since the March nomination. The confirmations of Genachowski and Republican Robert McDowell, nominated for his first full term, were unanimous consent in an almost surreal scene described by B&C, with Sen. Harry Reid referring to them by the day’s calendar numbers (2551, 252) rather than by name. “Reid said that it was too bad that he could not give individual recognition to the nominees beyond simply reading their names, since he said they were people who would ‘change lives.'”

Democrat Michael Copps is still acting chairman but the Genachowski paperwork could be done in time for the new chairman to preside of the FCC’s next public meeting on July 2.

Also today, Obama moved to fill out the rest of the commission, nominating, as expected, *Meredith* Attwell Baker to the remaining Republican seat and Mignon Clyburn to the Senate. Baker, the daughter of former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, formerly was acting head of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration; Clyburn, the daughter of House majority whip James Clyburn, is on the South Carolina Public Service Commission. They now have to go through the Commerce Committee for approval and the Senate for confirmation.