(USNewsMag.com) – Gigi Sohn has withdrawn her name as a nominee to join the Federal Communications Commission.
President Joe Biden nominated Sohn in October 2021 in hopes of getting her appointed to a five-year term as the third Democratic commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission. She would have replaced Ajit Varadaraj Pai.
Republicans and some Democrats have spoken out in opposition, with the nomination at a standstill. Sohn has been criticized for tweets critical of conservative news outlets, even calling for Sinclair Broadcast Group’s license to be reviewed and reconsidered. Sohn was also accused of unethical practices due to her work on the board of a company that had attempted operating a nonprofit streaming service. Sohn has denied allegations of unethical practice.
Most recently, at her Feb. 14 nomination hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz questioned her donations to Democratic causes.
The move to withdraw her name comes after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he would vote against her nomination, explaining he believes an FCC commissioner must not be partisan. With Manchin’s opposition to Sohn’s nomination, the chances of her being confirmed by the Senate were slim. Manchin said Biden should nominate a candidate with more support in the Senate.
Sohn had three Senate Commerce Committee hearings since her October 2021 nomination with each ending in a 14-14 split vote along party lines.
Biden has sought to end the balance of the two Republicans and two Democrats on the FCC by seating a third Democrat who would help return to the Obama policy of net neutrality, a policy which Sohn was involved with. Sohn had been at the FCC from 2013-2016 as a counselor.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on if the White House had anyone they were considering nominating in place of Sohn.
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