Democratic FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel likely will not be reconfirmed for a second term in Congress’ lame-duck session. That is a shame.
Rosenworcel’s renomination got unanimous approval from the Senate Commerce Committee, only to be held hostage to political infighting that had nothing to do with her—though now it has a lot to do with making sure Republicans have the upper hand at the FCC as soon as possible.
It is emblematic of what is wrong with Washington. Good people try to serve their country, but run up against dysfunction and division.
FCC commissioners usually forego much bigger bucks in private industry to work in government, though of course the position’s power and prestige cushion the blow. So Rosenworcel will be fine. But it’s the public weal that loses out when commitments to service are thwarted by partisanship and political calculation.
We have disagreed with Rosenworcel on some issues, but she has been a strong advocate for closing the digital divide and giving students greater access to broadband—both goals on which everyone should be able to agree.
If she does have to exit at the end of next month, the FCC will be poorer and the politics of division will have claimed another casualty.