WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Bush announced Nov. 9 his intention to nominate Republican Tennessee regulator Deborah Tate as an FCC commissioner and renominate Democratic regulator Michael Copps to a new term at the agency, according to the White House Web site.
Tate, director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, also has the support of fellow Tennessean, Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.
She would fill a seat vacated by former Chairman Michael Powell, also a Republican, and serve the remainder of his five-year term, which ends June 30, 2007.
Copps, a gadfly on communications issues such as payola and localism, would be tapped for a new five-year term expiring June 30, 2010. His first term at the agency officially ended June 30, but commissioners can remain for more than a year after their terms expire.
The Senate Commerce Committee must approve the nomination, as well as the full Senate.
A nominee for another vacated seat was not announced. Press accounts say White House science adviser Richard Russell was in the running, to fill a second Republican seat. Sources have said Commerce Committee Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, is concerned that Russell is not a strong supporter of the universal service subsidy that funds telecom access in rural and low-income areas.
The slot is open because the term of Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy, who did not seek reconfirmation, expired in June 2004.