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Senate committee approves Biden’s FCC nominees

Despite apparent opposition to the Biden nominees by Republicans, the Senate committee involved has approved the three FCC nominees and moved that the process proceed to a vote in the full Senate.

The article also includes these paragraphs, describing absurdities that could only occur in Congress:

[Ted] Cruz [R-Texas] moved that all the nominations, including Damelin and a nominee for the National Transportation Safety Board plus a list of Coast Guard promotions, be favorably reported. There were no objections and the motion was agreed to.

Immediately thereafter, however, Cruz and other Republicans asked to be recorded as no on Gomez and/or Starks and two Democrats as no on Carr. It’s not possible to discern from the webcast who was speaking in all instances, but the bottom line is that all the nominations were approved and now can go to the floor for a vote by the full Senate. The requests to be recorded as no are a signal that the rest of the confirmation process will not be easy.

Cruz moves the nominees should be “favorably” reported, but then announces he and others are against some.

All in all, this appears to be another example of Republican failure theater. Make it sound like you are trying to block Biden’s policies, but then do whatever is necessary to let them to go into effect. Considering that the Democratic Party appointees at the FCC have been pushing for regulatory power beyond the commission’s statutory authority, it seems absurd for any Republican senator (or Democrat senator for that matter) to okay any Biden nominees who would continue that power grab. And yet, the Republicans appear willing to go along.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.


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  • David Eastman

    The favorable/no thing isn’t hard to understand or failure theater at all. Cruz and the other republicans voted no, but they don’t hold a majority, so the vote went for approval, as expected. Cruz made the motion, because that’s his job on the committee..

    I’m not a huge fan of the senate republicans in general, they are far more collegial and old guard than the current house makeup, and I’d like to see them back up their promises with actual action, but this isn’t really a case of them not doing what they can.

  • David Eastman: You may be right, but history suggests otherwise. Republicans love to claim they did all they could, but were unable to succeed. Democrats meanwhile routinely manage to do more, even when they hold exactly the same amount of power.

    We shall see how the vote goes in the full Senate. Wanna bet a number of Republicans fold and vote for the Biden appointees?

  • David Eastman: Also, how is it Cruz’s job to make the motion of “favorable?” The Republicans don’t hold a majority, and because of the 50-50 split the VP (a Democrat) gives the Democrats just a little more control. Thus, the Democrats hold the leadership roll in the committee, even if the votes are split evenly. It should up to their leadership to make the motion, not Cruz.

  • Call Me Ishmael

    “… because of the 50-50 split”

    That was last session. The Democrats managed to get Fetterman in last year, so now they have a 51-49 majority.

  • Call Me Ishmael: Good point. According to the Senate itself, the breakdown is 49 Rs and 48 Ds, with three independents. Since those independents I think are all really Democrats in sheep’s clothing, that suggests you are correct.

    Which makes Cruz’s actions even more shameful.

  • Edward

    David Eastman wrote: “Cruz made the motion, because that’s his job on the committee..

    I don’t understand something here. It sounds to me as thought Cruz is at a control point but failed to take control and let a bad decision go through. It sounds as though the checks and balances system failed to check or to balance.

    However, motions are allowed by anyone, so Cruz could have refused to violate his belief, his ethics, his morals, or whatever it was and forced someone with less morals do make the motion.

    When I was on boards of directors, I didn’t make motions I didn’t believe in, and I didn’t second motions I didn’t believe in. I don’t want my representatives in Washington, my state’s capitol, or my local town to make or second motions that I don’t believe in, either.

  • David Eastman

    Cruz is the ranking member of the committee. Which just means the longest serving member from the minority party, it’s not a “leadership” position, but in many committees, and particularly sub-committees, that member is the one that actually manages the minutiae of calling for motions, making sure things run to schedule, etc. I admit I’m assuming that it’s the case for this particular committee, but the last time I ran into one of these “why in the world is member xx calling for…” and did the research, that was exactly the case. They were just the person responsible for calling for the motions, whether the motion went the way they wanted to or not.

    I should also clarify that my defense of Cruz is very tepid. He’s an excellent example of “the louder he’s screaming about something, the less chance there is that he actually intends to do anything about it.”

  • Edward

    David Eastman
    They were just the person responsible for calling for the motions, whether the motion went the way they wanted to or not.

    Still confused. It sounded as though he made the motion, not called for someone to make it.

  • D. Messier

    Well what was the vote total. If the majority voted in favor, then what other outcome was possible?

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