Senate Confirms Jessica Rosenworcel as First Woman to Lead Federal Communications Commission

December 7, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which oversees the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), spoke on the Senate floor in support of Jessica Rosenworcel ahead of her confirmation by the full Senate to serve a new term as a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Rosenworcel will be the first woman to lead the FCC and was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 68-31.

“President Biden picked someone with great experience, with great knowledge of the FCC at a moment where we need tremendous leadership,” Senator Cantwell said during her floor speech. “The FCC’s oversight and scope touches just about every part of our domestic economy and our lives, and we know that in an information age, it can be an exciting time of a lot of change, but also of many real challenges.  [F]rom affordability, to reliability, to protecting consumers, to restoring an open and free internet, to driving new spectrum innovation policy, to safeguarding the public interest. The policy decisions before the FCC are substantial and Chairwoman Rosenworcel is committed to those priorities, and… immensely qualified to lead at this critical moment.”

Senator Cantwell outlined the disparity in broadband access for communities in Washington state and how Rosenworcel is committed to addressing them: “For… the Makah Tribe, located on the Northwest point of the Olympic Peninsula, 90% of those households don't have broadband. I know Ms. Rosenworcel committed to both Senator Wicker and myself that she would work with us on the issue of broadband mapping.”

Cantwell continued, “Chairwoman Rosenworcel also looked at the issue of health care and the fact that the internet is now access to doctors, to medical information, to monitoring patients, to delivering health care….. [Rosenworcel] took time to first-hand visit telehealth in the State of Washington, in Seattle, and saw how we were pushing forward but yet the FCC is going to do more in this particular area… Her leadership, I believe, will help her ensure that our spectrum policies continue to spur innovation and economic prosperity.”

Senator Cantwell also spoke in support of Rosenworcel’s confirmation earlier this month at a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing, “If confirmed, Chairwoman Rosenworcel will continue to lead the agency's important work to ensure that every American has access to reliable, affordable broadband. Having strong leadership at the helm of the FCC to implement our broadband investments cannot be more important and I look forward to her confirmation.”