White House expected to make fresh push to confirm Biden nominees for FTC, FCC

FTC seal at commission headquarters in Washington
Federal Trade Commission seal is seen at a news conferenceat FTC Headquarters in Washington, U.S., July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

Jan 3 (Reuters) - The White House was expected to make a fresh push as early as Monday to persuade the U.S. Senate to confirm President Joe Biden's nominees for top posts at agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission, an administration official said.

The attempt will involve renewing the nominations for Gigi Sohn at the FCC, Alvaro Bedoya at the FTC and Alan Davidson to head the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, said the official, who did not wish to be named. The nominations, which expired when the December session of Congress ended, will help Senate Democrats move forward with the confirmations.

The nominations have been held up due to Republican opposition. The delay has kept Democrats from having a majority at these agencies and acting on priorities such as robust antitrust enforcement and net neutrality rules.

Sohn - a former senior aide to Tom Wheeler, who served as FCC chairman under then-President Barack Obama - faces the most opposition from Republicans and has not received a vote from the Senate Commerce Committee.

Biden waited more than nine months to make nominations for the FCC, which has not been able to address some key issues because it currently has one vacancy and is split 2-2 between Democrats and Republicans.

The Senate Commerce Committee deadlocked 14-14 on the nomination of Bedoya for the FTC in December but under its rules it can proceed to the full Senate for a vote. The FTC is also split between the two parties.

Davidson cleared the Senate Commerce Committee by voice vote late last year to head the NTIA but his nomination may require a formal roll-call vote on the Senate floor due to opposition from some Republicans.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Mumbai; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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