Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstRepublican Senator Ted Cruz, a conservative whose defiant stand against Obamacare helped prompt the U.S. government shutdown, has blocked the Senate from voting on the nomination of Tom Wheeler to be Federal Communications Commission chairman.
The Senate was scheduled to vote on Wheeler, a Democrat and telecom industry veteran, late on Wednesday. Cruz held up the vote over questions about the FCC’s power to enforce disclosures of who sponsors political television advertising.
“The Senator is holding the nominee until he gets answers to his questions regarding Mr. Wheeler’s views on whether the FCC has the authority or intent to implement the requirements of the failed Congressional DISCLOSE Act,” said Cruz spokesman Sean Rushton, referring to a failed bill meant to step up political disclosures.
“Mr. Wheeler had previously declined to give specific answers, but as he’s now expressed his readiness to revisit the Senator’s questions, the Senator hopes to communicate with him soon,” Rushton said.
If Wheeler cannot resolve Cruz’s concerns, Senate Democrats could force a vote on the nomination. Majority Leader Harry Reid would decided whether to take that action.
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