After meeting with Tom Wheeler, President Obama’s nominee to chair the FCC, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced that he is lifting his hold on the appointment, a move that sets up the pick for a Senate confirmation vote.
Cruz met with Wheeler on Tuesday, and the Texas senator said in a statement that he decided to lift the hold after Wheeler assured him that it was “not a priority” of his to have the agency impose campaign finance regulations that would require that political ads disclose the source of their funding. Legislation to do just that has stalled out in the Senate.
Cruz said in a statement, “In our meeting this afternoon, Mr. Wheeler stated that he had heard the unambiguous message that trying to impose the requirements of the DISCLOSE Act, absent congressional action, would imperil the Commission’s vital statutory responsibilities, and he explicitly stated that doing so was ‘not a priority.’ Based on those representations, I have lifted my hold on his nomination, and I look forward to working with him on the FCC to expand jobs and economic growth.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) on Tuesday had chided Cruz for blocking the nomination, and Reid set a cloture vote to overcome any threatened filibuster. But another Republican senator, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) has vowed to block all of the administration’s appointments until new hearings were scheduled on last year’s attacks in Benghazi, Libya.