Donald Trump won the election. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler was one of those who took a while to accept that. He pulled a stunt where he refused to quit, trying to prevent the incoming President from appointing a 3-2 Republican majority to the Commission.
The Senate thwarted him. Now it’s time to move on, but only when Donald Trump takes charge.
The FCC is a five member body whose members have staggered five year terms. Which member is the Chairman may be chosen at will by the President. Conventionally the current Chairman has resigned when the party in power changes, so that the new President can appoint a majority to the body.
Chairman Tom Wheeler announced after the election though that he would not be resigning. That meant the only way to prevent the Democrats from keeping a 3-2 majority on the body, would be for the Senate to reject the reconfirmation of Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel, allowing Trump to appoint a Republican after his inauguration.
Wheeler saw that he was beaten and offered to quit in order to try to save Rosenworcel’s seat, but that late in the game nobody believed him, and Rosenworcel’s nomination died in the last Congress. Barack Obama however has re-nominated Rosenworcel again for this Congress to consider. She should be reconfirmed, but only when Donald Trump renominates her in conjunction with a Republican to replace Tom Wheeler.
The Democrats on the FCC have been running amok for the entire Obama administration. They defy the Congress, defy the courts, and defy popular will at every opportunity. They think they answer to nobody. Republicans should slap them here, make them understand a little humility here. Make them wait until Donald Trump is the President, can appoint (hopefully) Ajit Pai as the new Chairman, and bring a third Republican onto the body (hopefully) to join Pai and Michael O’Rielly in repealing the illegal Net Neutrality regulations.
The Democrats threatened to overturn traditions. Once Republicans are in power, they should restore those traditions. Two seats for the party out of power, and three for the party in power. But only when Trump is back in charge, so they don’t get a chance to play more games.