The Senate on Thursday confirmed Anna Gomez to serve on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), ending a stretch where the agency did not have a fifth seat filled that has lasted since President Biden took office.
Gomez was confirmed 55-43, with five Republicans — Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mike Rounds (S.D.) and Todd Young (Ind.) — voting alongside all Democrats and senators who vote or caucus with the party:
The confirmation vote came after a long slog for the commission, which has been stuck at a 2-2 deadlock of GOP and Democratic commissioners. Gomez’s addition allows Democrats on the commission to advance issues without interference from Republicans.
“Ms. Gomez’s confirmation will fill the fifth and final spot on the FCC, so they can do the crucial work of expanding access to high-speed internet, administering programs for affordable internet access, and protecting consumers from junk fees, and much more,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor earlier Thursday ahead of the vote.
A telecom lawyer, Gomez worked at the FCC and served in the private sector. She is currently a communications policy adviser at the State Department.
Biden initially nominated Gigi Sohn to fill the fifth spot on the commission in October 2021. But she withdrew from consideration after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced his opposition and virtually doomed her nomination.
Sohn was also faced with intense attacks from Republicans over past comments and social media posts she made that they said targeted conservatives.
“It is a sad day for our country and our democracy when dominant industries, with assistance from unlimited dark money, get to choose their regulators,” Sohn said in March when she announced her withdrawal.
Gomez will be the first Latina to serve on the commission in more than 20 years.