By Amy Huffman, policy director, and Josh Mimura, NDIA fellow
Today hearings began to consider President Joe Biden’s nominees for key positions at federal agencies now tasked with administering the new digital equity activities and programs funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation conducts the hearings to advance the nominees to a full vote by the Senate. Up first was Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel who Biden nominated to serve as Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
President Biden also nominated Gigi Sohn to serve as a Commissioner on the FCC, and Alan Davidson to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Administrator of National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Their hearings have not yet been scheduled.
Now that IIJA has been signed into law and the critical role these positions will have in ensuring the IIJA and other tech policy is implemented well, it’s imperative the hearings and votes occur before the end of the calendar year.
As such, NDIA and the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition wrote a joint letter of support urging the Senate Commerce committee to quickly conduct hearings and speedily confirm President Biden’s nominees.
Co-signed by 68 other organizations, the joint letter explains why each nominee is well suited for their respective leadership position. We discuss the ways that Rosenworcel has demonstrated outstanding leadership as acting FCC Chair; we note Sohn’s passion for advancing digital equity and ability to work with people from both sides of the political aisle; and we discuss how Davidson’s expertise in technology policy qualifies him for his prospective role at the NTIA.
We submitted our joint letter to the Senate Commerce Committee and Senate leadership on Monday, November 15, 2021.