The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel will provide testimony at a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation confirmation hearing on Wednesday, October 28 at 10:00 a.m. On May 22, 2015, President Obama nominated Ms. Rosenworcel for a second five-year term as commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission. Ms. Rosenworcel’s first term was from May 2012-June 2015. She may remain in her current role as commissioner until December 31, 2016 while awaiting Senate confirmation for a second term.
Ms. Rosenworcel’s nomination questionnaire is available here.
The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Full Committee hearing
This hearing will take place in Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.
For reporters interested in reserving a seat, please contact the press gallery:
• Periodical Press Gallery – 202-224-0265
• Radio/Television Gallery – 202-224-6421
• Press Photographers Gallery – 202-224-6548
• Daily Press Gallery – 202-224-0241
Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for the webcast hearing, should contact Stephanie Gamache at 202-224-5511 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.
Chairman John Thune
"Today we welcome Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to testify before the committee as we consider her nomination to serve a second term at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
"Today’s appearance by Commissioner Rosenworcel marks the third time she has testified before the Committee this year, and I know the Committee appreciates her willingness to come up to the Hill to answer questions on a variety of issues before the Commission.
"Commissioner Rosenworcel has been serving as a Commissioner at the FCC since May of 2012, and before that, she served as a senior staffer on this Committee for both Chairman Rockefeller and Chairman Inouye. So she is a well-known individual to many of us on this Committee.
"Every single American relies in some part on the nation’s vast communications system, and this system binds together our 21st century society.
"Congress has charged the FCC with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. Moreover, the mandate of the FCC under the Communications Act is to make available to all Americans a rapid, efficient, nationwide, and worldwide wire and radio communications service.
"Our communications system is absolutely vital to the nation’s economy, so it is critically important that those who lead the FCC do so by exercising regulatory humility, promoting economic growth, trusting technological innovation, and working within the framework provided by Congress to make world-class communications available to all Americans in both rural and urban areas.
"Commissioner Rosenworcel has served during an eventful period at the Commission. Perhaps most significantly, the FCC voted along party lines to burden the Internet with Title II common carrier regulation in February of this year, one of the most polarizing and partisan decisions in the agency’s history.
"As I said at the time, the tech and telecom industries agree on few regulatory matters, but there was one idea that unified them for two decades—the Internet is not the telephone network, and one cannot apply the old rules of telecom to the new world of the Internet.
"I believe there should be clear rules for the digital road with clear authority for the FCC to enforce them. That is why I sought, and am still seeking, to work with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to find consensus on a legislative solution to preserve the Open Internet. I will be asking Commissioner Rosenworcel about this path forward.
"Another important issue I want to bring up today is about an anomaly in the Universal Service Fund (USF) rules that Commissioner Rosenworcel, and her four colleagues on the Commission, made a commitment to me in March to fix by the end of this year.
"This anomaly requires a rural consumer to buy voice service from a small rural telephone company in order for that carrier to be eligible for USF support.
"I led a letter earlier this year, along with Sen. Klobuchar and 65 additional Senators, calling on the FCC to make this fix. It is now October 28th, and I hope that Commissioner Rosenworcel can provide an update on the progress of the FCC in satisfying the commitment she and her colleagues made back in March.
"Having said all of this, I would like to thank Commissioner Rosenworcel for her regular engagement with the Committee and her willingness to serve another term at the FCC, and I look forward to her testimony today.
"With that, I turn now to the distinguished ranking member for any remarks he would like to make."
Thank you to Chairman Thune for holding this hearing to consider this important re-nomination.
Commissioner Rosenworcel, congratulations on your re-nomination. You have served with distinction and not surprisingly, have established yourself as a reasoned, thoughtful, and bipartisan leader on the commission since your confirmation.
The FCC has the critical responsibility for overseeing and supporting our nation’s dynamic communications networks and marketplace. Given the blistering pace at which these networks are evolving, we must have an expert oversight agency with flexible, forward-looking authority to protect consumers and competition.
And as we look to what’s ahead, we need regulators who are not afraid to use that authority when necessary, but also know when to exercise authority with humility and a regulatory light touch. Your tenure on the FCC has proven you to be just such a public servant.
The future may be uncertain, but I agree with you that, as the commission tackles its important work, it must be guided by the fundamental principles that have helped U.S. communications networks thrive and lead the world for so many decades. Consumer protection, public safety, universal access, and competition must continue to be at the forefront of the FCC’s actions.
Thank you again, Commissioner Rosenworcel, for your commitment to public service and your willingness to serve. This committee should advance your nomination expeditiously, and I hope for and expect speedy action on the Senate floor in favor of your nomination.
Witness Panel 1
The Honorable Jessica RosenworcelCommissionerFederal Communications Commission