President Joe Biden has nominated Jessica Rosenworcel, the acting chair of the Federal Communications Commission, to serve as the official head of the agency, and former FCC official Gigi Sohn for the open commission slot, the White House announced Tuesday.
Biden's nomination of the two Democrats came after months of delay, during which two Republicans and two Democrats served on the commission, rendering it politically hamstrung in many cases.
In addition, because Rosenworcel's term has ended, she will have to exit by year's end if the Senate does not confirm her first, raising the prospect of a Republican-majority commission, which could hamper the Biden administration's goals to expand broadband service and potentially revisit the fight over net neutrality.
Rosenworcel has been steering the commission as it rolled out subsidies for internet access during the pandemic. Sohn, a onetime top aide to former FCC chair Tom Wheeler, was an architect of the Obama-era net neutrality rules.
Biden also nominated Alan Davidson, a policy official at Mozilla who previously founded Google's Washington office in the mid-2000s, to serve as head of the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
This article was updated to reflect the official announcement of the nominations.