O’Rielly Named to FCC in Move That May Speed Senate Vote

President Barack Obama named Michael O’Rielly, a congressional aide, to a Republican seat on the Federal Communications Commission, setting up a potential Senate vote to approve a new Democratic chairman at the regulatory agency.

O’Rielly, who advises Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, would fill one of two vacant FCC seats, according to a White House announcement released by e-mail. The other seat is for Obama’s choice for FCC chairman, former cable and wireless lobbyist Tom Wheeler, who was named May 1 to succeed Julius Genachowski.

Senators usually pair a Democratic and Republican FCC nominee before voting to approve them, Senator John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, said July 30 as the Commerce Committee cleared Wheeler.

Resignations have left the five-member commission with one Republican and two Democrats, including Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, since May.

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