The Senate Gets an 'F' in FCC for Failing to Confirm Public-Interest Advocate Gigi Sohn After a Year of Senseless Delays
WASHINGTON — Wednesday marks one year since President Biden nominated Gigi Sohn to the Federal Communications Commission. Since then, the FCC has remained deadlocked 2–2 as Sohn has faced an underhanded campaign by deep-pocketed phone, cable and broadcast companies seeking to hamstring the agency that oversees their businesses. No other nominee in the FCC’s history has had to wait so long for a confirmation vote in the Senate.
Free Press Action Internet Campaign Director Heather Franklin said:
“The U.S. Senate gets an ‘F’ in FCC. Gigi Sohn has been in limbo for a year now, preventing a deadlocked agency from passing crucial policies that would help people in the United States connect and communicate. This senseless delay is harming millions of people, especially working families trying to pay their rising monthly bills and those in Black, Indigenous, Latinx and rural communities that the biggest phone and cable companies have long exploited and neglected.
“Broadcast, cable and phone companies don’t want the FCC to hold them accountable to people, so they’ve launched a smear campaign against Sohn, repeatedly misrepresenting her record in the media and on Capitol Hill. Sohn has faced antisemitic, homophobic and blatantly false attacks online and in right-wing media. For a year, Democratic leaders have dithered and delayed, leaving people in the United States without the safeguards they need to access an open and affordable internet.
“The power to return the FCC to full strength rests with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. He has a chance to call this important vote as soon as Congress returns from the upcoming midterm elections. He should have the courage to take it. The Senate’s failure to act means big companies won’t hesitate to raise prices, charge unjust fees and discriminate with impunity because they know this watchdog is toothless. If the Senate genuinely wants to improve the lives of internet users, cellphone customers, TV watchers and radio listeners — aka, everyone — they can start by confirming this excellent public servant to the FCC before the clock runs out.”