Biden’s Antitrust Plans Come To A Halt As Nominees Struggle In Senate

US President Biden looks to restore net neutrality and has met with significant delays because his nominees for top posts have struggled to gain Senate confirmations.

The shortage of key personnel at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has prevented Democrats from having a majority at both agencies and stopped them from moving forward with their ambitious antitrust, broadband, and net neutrality goals, reported The Washington Examiner.

Read More: FTC & FCC Nominees On Tough Road To Senate Confirmation

FCC nominee Gigi Sohn, a prominent liberal activist and a former Democratic staffer at the commission, was nominated six months ago, and FTC nominee Alvaro Bedoya, a Georgetown University law professor and prominent privacy advocate, was nominated eight months ago. Both nominations have taken significantly longer to get confirmed compared to those nominated under previous administrations.

Their nominations have remained in limbo due to limited Senate floor time. The upper chamber has been preoccupied recently with the Ukraine invasion and Supreme Court nominees, on top of the difficulties created by the Democrats’ razor-thin majority in the Senate.

Allies say the delay in confirming them hurts the Biden administration’s agenda while temporarily allowing the broadband industry and Big Tech companies such as Facebook and Google off the hook for bad behavior because the FTC and FCC are gridlocked.

“Rules related to bringing back net neutrality and regulating the Big Tech companies will take time to implement, and this delays those goals from being achieved,” said Greg Guice, head of government affairs at open internet advocacy group Public Knowledge.

“At some point, these folks will get confirmed and the agency work will continue, and the opposed industries will have bought a little time and not much else. It’s so frustrating,” said Guice, who has pushed to get FCC and FTC nominees confirmed since 1999.