Today, at 5:00pm EST, U.S. Senators Blumenthal, Wyden, and civil society representatives will hold a live video press conference arguing that the Senate should not force through the nomination of Nathan Simington to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Mr. Simington has insufficient telecom policy experience, demonstrated by his inability to respond to basic questions about the FCC’s jurisdiction during his confirmation hearing. To make matters worse, his only qualification appears to be his role in the Trump administration’s illegal and inappropriate attempt to hijack the FCC into a Section 230 regulator. The nominee is unqualified to be an FCC commissioner.
“Confirming Nathan Simington to the FCC will undermine progress at the worst possible time,” said Eric Null, U.S. Policy Manager at Access Now. “Instead of focusing on how to prevent mass evictions and utility shut-offs, how to keep people employed, or any number of other priorities, the Senate has decided to spend its precious, limited remaining time to jam through Mr. Simington’s nomination in a cynical ploy to hobble the agency. The Pai FCC has made a mess of communications policy, and we still need to get more low-income people and people of color online during and after the pandemic, a goal that requires a stable, functional, and efficient FCC. We will not get one by moving forward with Mr. Simington.”
Simington would deadlock the FCC at 2-2, with Republicans on the Commission capable of preventing progress on any initiative, including reinstating Title II and net neutrality. Republicans could even prevent the expansion of broadband connections at a time when internet access is desperately needed due to the pandemic.