Trump’s FCC Pick Clears Senate Committee – Might Be Confirmed

( President Donald Trump at least has one reason to smile this week, with his nomination to fill a seat on the Federal Communications Commission clearing the Senate Commerce Committee this Wednesday. Nathan Simington, should he be approved by the Senate, would give Republicans an equal footing on the FCC and create a deadlock for a potential Joe Biden administration.

However, as soon as Joe Biden goes ahead and approves a fifth member of the FCC, it will grant the Democrats a majority in the future. This process is expected to take months.

The Senate Commerce Committee voted 14-12 in favor of confirming Simington, which was precisely along party lines. The highest-profile Democrat on the committee, Senator Maria Cantwell, said that “real questions have been raised about Mr. Simington’s candor with the committee during the confirmation process.”

That, and he’s not a radical Democrat.

Cantwell also misrepresented emails from Simington that she says proved he would “do the president’s bidding on Section 230.”

While a fifth appointee made by Biden in the months following his possible inauguration may be a problem, it makes it more likely that the president could take real action against Big Tech and social media giants before he leaves office.

On Wednesday, the president said he would veto an upcoming defense spending bill if it didn’t include a full repeal of Section 230, which provides social media giants with protection against lawsuits over content published by individual users. The legislation grants this protection to social media giants so long as they do not behave as publishers.

President Trump argues that the anti-conservative bias shown by social media companies is indicative that Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are publishers rather than neutral platforms.

If he is officially confirmed, Simington will fill the space on the FCC originally set to be filled by Republican Michael O’Reilly. The Senate Commerce Committee initially approved O’Reilly to serve another term, after being at the FCC for 13 years, but President Trump withdrew his nomination after he suggested he would not reform Section 230 rules.

President Trump, should he ultimately lose the election, will only have a matter of weeks to reform or repeal Section 230 rules that allow Twitter and Facebook to censor conservative voices.