Big Reactions to Sohn’s Stunning FCC Withdrawal


Gigi Sohn’s request to the White House to withdraw her nomination to serve as an FCC Commissioner has drawn several reactions.

Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) statement yesterday that he would not support her, complicated the chances of Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee of getting her nomination sent to the floor. That’s because of their slim majority and fierce GOP pushback to Sohn, noted The Hill. Inside Towers reported that Sohn needed every Democratic vote. 

Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-TX) has been among Sohn’s sharpest critics. He called her withdrawal a “major victory” that represents “strong bipartisan agreement that we need a fair and impartial candidate who can receive the support needed for confirmation.” He said: “The FCC is not a place for partisan activists,” referring to Sohn’s more than 30 years of experience as a public advocate. Cruz said it’s time for the administration “to put forth a nominee who can be confirmed by the full Senate and is committed to serving as an even-handed and truly independent regulator.”  

Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) was disappointed by Sohn’s decision but respects it. Cantwell said over the past 16 months, “Ms. Sohn has demonstrated her expertise in telecommunications law, deep experience and commitment to ensuring that every American has access to affordable broadband regardless of where they live. More importantly, I commend her for the integrity and fortitude she displayed in the face of a coordinated, hate-fueled campaign to malign and distort her character and record. I thank Ms. Sohn for her willingness to serve and her continued efforts to bridge the digital divide in America.” 

INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, did not celebrate Sohn’s withdrawal either. “Throughout this entire process, Gigi has acted with the utmost integrity and honesty. Despite the relentless attacks on her character, she stood strong and never wavered in her commitment to fight for competition-based policies,” said CEO Chip Pickering. “While we are disappointed in this result, we are extremely proud of her and look forward to finding ways to work with her to advocate on behalf of consumers and competition.”

Because Sohn’s nomination has been at a standstill for so long, the Commission has been deadlocked since President Biden took office, and Sohn expects that standstill to continue. “As someone who has advocated for my entire career for affordable, accessible broadband for every American, it is ironic that the 2-2 FCC will remain sidelined at the most consequential opportunity for broadband in our lifetimes,” she said in a statement Tuesday.

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.