Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has lifted his hold on Tom Wheeler, potentialy paving the way for an expeditious Senate vote that would install Wheeler as chairman of the FCC and Michael O'Rielly to fill the Republican seat on the commission.
Cruz announced that he had lifted the hold following a meeting Tuesday (Oct. 29) with the nominee in which Wheeler said that imposing disclosure requirements on political adds absent a congressional directive was not a priority.
In our meeting this afternoon, Mr. Wheeler stated that he had heard the unambiguous message that trying to impose the requirements of the DISCLOSE Act, absent congressional action, would imperil the Commission's vital statutory responsibilities, and he explicitly stated that doing so was "not a priority." Based on those representations, I have lifted my hold on his nomination, and I look forward to working with him on the FCC to expand jobs and economic growth."
Cruz's announcement came a day after Majority Leader Harry Reed (D-Nev.) invoked cloture on the Wheeler nomination. A hold is essentially an informal signal that a senator will filibuster a nomination, so Reed was planning to hold a vote Wednesday (Oct. 30) to cut off that debate. If he got the needed 60-tove supermajority, Reed could have proceeded to a floor vote after only a few hours of debate.
Wheeler was voted out of the Senate Commerce Committee with bipartisan support and only a single no vote--Cruz's.
Now it looks like Wednesday's vote will be a straight majority vote for Wheeler and likely O'Rielly, with both expected to be approved with bipartisan support. That means Wheeler could be taking the helm by week's end or early next.