June 9, 2009 / 8:05 PM / 10 years ago

US Senate panel sets June 16 FCC nominees hearing

WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a June 16 hearing to consider the nomination of Julius Genachowski to be chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

The committee said on Tuesday it would also consider the renomination of Robert McDowell, who currently holds a Republican seat on the five-member commission.

President Barack Obama chose Genachowski, a Democrat, to head the FCC, which is currently without a permanent chairman. Michael Copps, a Democrat, has been serving in an acting capacity.

Genachowski is a law school friend of Obama and a technology industry executive. His top priorities are expected to include expanding broadband services fueled by the recent economic stimulus package and “net neutrality to prevent Internet services providers from giving preference to certain content.

A source familiar with the committee’s agenda said a separate hearing was likely to be held at a later date for Mignon Clyburn to fill a Democratic seat and Meredith Attwell Baker to fill a Republican seat.

Baker, a former Commerce Department official, has not been formally nominated by the Obama administration.

Clyburn is the daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat. (Reporting by John Poirier; Editing by Gary Hill)

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