Senate Committee approves FCC nominee Anna Gomez amidst Republican opposition

July 13, 2023
Gomez's nomination is aimed to close the 2-2 deadlock at the FCC.

The FCC came closer to having a complete set of commissioners as the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has approved Anna Gomez’s nomination.

President Biden nominated Gomez in May, intending to get a Democratic majority at the FCC. The five-seat Commission currently sits at a 2-2 split among Republican and Democratic commissioners.

The committee also voted to advance the renomination of Geoffrey Starks and Brendan Carr to additional FCC commissioner terms. These three nominations will now be sent to the full Senate for a vote to break the two-to-two deadlock among Democratic and Republican appointees on the FCC. 

Gomez is a senior advisor for international information and communications policy in the FCC’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy. Earlier, she served for 12 years in various positions at the FCC, including deputy chief of the International Bureau and senior legal advisor to then-Chairman William E. Kennard.

“FCC impacts nearly every part of our lives and domestic economy,” said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Committee, in her opening statement before the votes. “Whether the agency is focused on improving wireless communications, ensuring robust broadband deployment, reviewing the media marketplace, or protecting the nation from foreign threats. The FCC’s oversight ensures that today’s hyper-connected environment works for consumers.”

Cantwell cited Gomez’s decades-long telecom industry experience as proof that she is a good fit to fill the vacant seat on the FCC. “Ms. Gomez is a dedicated public servant with 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry,” Cantwell noted. “If confirmed, she will be the first Latina on the Commission in over 20 years. Ms. Gomez has demonstrated she has the experience and judgment to be highly effective in this role as commissioner and has earned bipartisan support for her nomination.”

Gomez’s nomination comes after President Biden’s last nominee, Gigi Sohn, withdrew her nomination after a year of debate about her nomination.

Like Gigi Sohn, Gomez’s nomination faces opposition from several Republican lawmakers, including Ranking Member Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Cruz, who said he would not support Gomez’s nomination. “Unfortunately, based on her vague answers to my questions for the record, I am not confident that Ms. Gomez would actively oppose censorship by the FCC,” Cruz said. “Without that basic prerequisite, I’m unable to support her confirmation.”

Republican Senators Dan Sullivan, R-A.K., and Cynthia Lummis, R-W.Y., joined Cruz in voting “no” to Gomez’s nomination. 

The Senate has not set a date to vote on Gomez’s confirmation.