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Dems To Use Parliamentary Maneuver To Push Biden FTC & FCC Nominees

 |  March 28, 2022

Under pressure from progressive activists, Democrats are planning to employ a rarely used parliamentary maneuver to push through President Biden’s nominees for the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee have so far blocked the nominations of Georgetown University law professor Alvaro Bedoya to the FTC and consumer advocate Gigi Sohn to the FCC, largely on grounds that they are too partisan.

Related: FTC & FCC Nominees On Tough Road To Senate Confirmation

That left both commissions deadlocked with a 2-2 split between Democrats and Republicans, denying agency leaders the majorities they needed to advance the Biden administration’s priorities.

In response, Senate Democratic leaders are preparing to use a parliamentary maneuver known as a discharge petition to allow a floor vote on both nominees, the people familiar said.

The vote for Mr. Bedoya could happen as early as this week, the people familiar said. But the maneuver could be difficult to pull off and could take weeks to accomplish.

A majority vote of the Senate is required to advance the discharge petition and bypass a committee vote. Without Republican support—and so far at the committee level there has been none—that means all 50 Democratic-voting members along with Vice President Kamala Harris must be present to support the petition.

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