Biden’s FCC Pick Withdraws, Says Agency Will ‘Remain Sidelined’

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President Joe Biden’s nominee for a key fifth seat on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Gigi Sohn, withdrew on Tuesday, dealing a setback for Democrats who have been unable to take control of the telecom regulator for more than two years.

Sohn confirmed Tuesday she was withdrawing after Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he would vote against confirming her.

“We appreciate Gigi Sohn’s candidacy for this important role. She would have brought tremendous intellect and experience,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday.

Sohn had been a senior aide to Tom Wheeler when he was the FCC chair under President Barack Obama.

Democrats since January 2021 have been unable to command a majority of the five-member FCC, stalling the party’s efforts to reinstate landmark net neutrality rules revoked under Republican President Donald Trump. The open internet laws seek to bar internet service providers from blocking or slowing traffic or offering paid fast lanes.