March 07, 2023

Manchin to Vote No on Gigi Sohn for FCC Commissioner

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on his decision to vote against Gigi Sohn for Democratic Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Ms. Sohn has faced unprecedented, bipartisan opposition to her nomination as a result of her years of partisan activism, inflammatory statements online, and work with far-left groups. She has also spent many years as a public interest advocate, using similarly inflammatory language on social media.
β€œFor nearly 100 years, the FCC has been an independent, nonpartisan regulator of all forms of communication in American life, from radio to television to satellite. Unfortunately, over the last several years, it has become increasingly politicized. The FCC must focus on issues of critical importance to West Virginian and Americans, such as updating broadband coverage maps, addressing compromised Chinese equipment and products that threaten the security of our communications infrastructure, and ensuring every American has access to affordable Internet services. Especially now, the FCC must remain above the toxic partisanship that Americans are sick and tired of, and Ms. Sohn has clearly shown she is not the person to do that. For those reasons, I cannot support her nomination to the FCC, and I urge the Biden Administration to put forth a nominee who can bring us together, not drive us apart.”

Ms. Sohn has been re-nominated this Congress to be the third Democratic Commissioner on the FCC, and she has now had three controversial Senate Commerce Committee hearings. Last Congress, she was reported out of Committee on a 14-14 party-line split – the first time an FCC nominee has not been reported favorably by the Committee. Given ethical concerns raised during her confirmation process, Ms. Sohn has agreed to recuse herself from regulating certain broadcast issues if confirmed, leading to additional questions about whether she can adequately serve as FCC Commissioner if she cannot weigh in on some of the key matters before the Commission.