On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Slaughter as commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission, officially establishing a 3-2 Democratic majority on the commission.
This confirmation ensures that the FTC can continue its important work in protecting consumers and promoting competition. It also marks a shift in the commission’s balance of power from Republican to Democratic control.
Let’s look at the details.
Senate confirms Bedoya to FTC, establishing Democratic majority
Confirming the new Democratic commissioners to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has substantially shifted the agency’s power balance away from Republican control. The FCC is an independent government agency within the federal government that regulates communication in the United States, such as radio and television broadcast networks.
It comprises five members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve staggered five-year terms. The current lineup includes three Democrats, two Republicans and one independent commissioner. With this new configuration, it will be likely that Democrats will now have a 3-2 majority on the commission, allowing them more power to push their preferred policy initiatives.
The confirmation comes at a time when many media-related policies need to be put into action or reviewed. For example, issues regarding broadband access, net neutrality rules and spectrum auctions are just some topics that need to be discussed within this new environment where change is certain. Additionally, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (a former top lobbyist for cable companies) has expressed his support for policies that might open up cable set-top boxes (monopolized by cable) to competition from third parties. In contrast, other commissioners have expressed their concerns about such a move potentially infringing on intellectual property rights of networks.
In conclusion, this confirmation has certainly shifted political power in favor of Democrat initiatives at the FCC during a crucial period for communications transactions and technology in our nation today.
Impact of the confirmation
The recent confirmation of a Democratic commissioner to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will now give Democrats a 3-2 majority on the Commission. This power shift is likely to have an impact on many of the key policy initiatives of the current administration. With a majority on the commission, Democrats can move their policy agenda forward more easily and take decisive action on issues such as net neutrality, broadband deployment, privacy, and consumer protection.
The new Democratic majority also means there will be new leadership at the FCC for at least two years. The Republican-controlled Congress had prevented former President Obama from filling vacancies during his last two years in office, leaving future control of the Commission uncertain until this most recent confirmation. However, with a clear direction from their leadership, Democrats are now empowered to push through their policy proposals more quickly and effectively.
The new majority could also lead to an uptick in enforcement activities by Democratic commissioners; groups like Free Press have argued that enforcement efforts have decreased drastically under Chairman Pai’s tenure without sufficient justification or explanation for why certain violations go unpunished while others are pursued enthusiastically. The power shift should lead to further scrutiny of any potential violations and increased efforts aimed at ensuring compliance with existing rules and regulations.
Overall, with a majority of members now holding similar views and supporting the same initiatives, regulatory actions taken by FCC can be expected to reflect significantly more progressive priorities than those seen under previous Republican majorities.
The US Senate has confirmed Lina M. A. Bedoya as a Commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). With the confirmation of Bedoya, the Democratic commissioners will now have a 3-2 majority on the commission.
This confirmation sets the stage for a new era of consumer protection at the FTC and could mean more regulations on big tech companies.
Let’s look at the confirmation process and what it means for the future of the FTC.
Process of confirmation
The President nominates a person for a position that requires Senate confirmation and the President’s choice is then referred to the Senate. Once it reaches the Senate, the nomination will go through several steps before approval or rejection. This process is known as Senate Confirmation.
The first step in this process involves the relevant Senate committee or committees analyzing the nominee’s qualifications and background. Depending on the appointment, this can include a hearing by those committees. After hearings have been held and high-level scrutiny has been given to potential nominees, they may be reported out of committee favorably, unfavorably, neutrally or without recommendation.
Once they have been reported out of committee (or skipped if no hearings were held), they proceed to executive session before a full vote is taken in front of all senators on the floor for their review. During executive session, senators can debate whether or not to confirm a nominee and ultimately vote on their confirmation. As long as one-third of members agree with each other in support of a nominee’s confirmation, they are easily approved with fewer than 51 votes needed for approval from both parties in most cases.
Finally, after undergoing severe scrutiny from multiple sources during this process, Democratic commissioners now have a 3-2 majority due to recent confirmations from Senators who voted favorably for them.
Arguments for and against confirmation
There are arguments in favor of and against the Senate confirmation of presidential nominees to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Arguments for confirmation include an increased acknowledgement of the president’s policy initiatives and preferences, more effective decision-making by the FCC commissioners, improved effectiveness of appointments to executive branch agencies and commissions, and more strongly issuing reflective policy of the American public. Furthermore, confirmation allows commissioners to demonstrate their knowledge through a vetting process.
Arguments against confirmation include creating a possible conflict between presidential power versus congressional authority and potential political influence from special interest groups. There is also concern that confirmation could create procedural delays in nominating officials to important roles or disproportionately affect individuals based on gender or race. Additionally, Senate confirmation can be time consuming with no guarantee that the full Senate will even hear a nominee.
After a close vote in the Senate, David C. Bedoya has been confirmed as a commisioner of the Federal Trade Commission, giving the Democrats a 3-2 majority.
This confirmation marks a shift in the commission’s policy, as now the Democrats will make key decisions regarding consumer protection, competition, and fairness in the marketplace.
Implications of the Democratic majority
The election of three Democratic commissioners in the November 2020 election has resulted in a 3-2 majority for the Democratic Party on the commission. This will affect policy making and decision-making across various issues such as housing, development, infrastructure, and environmental protection.
The changes made by the new Democratic majority may include reversing or rolling back some decisions that have already been made by the prior commission, and will likely lead to new policies being adopted in those same issue areas. The Democratic majority may also seek to more aggressively pursue an agenda focused on equity, including positions supporting key social justice initiatives such as expanding voting rights and protections for communities of color.
The new commissioners may also focus on issues given less attention under prior commissions, including expanded protections for workers’ rights and improved access to health care and public services. They may also be more willing to take positions against powerful economic interests that threaten local communities’ economic opportunity and quality of life. In all cases, these changes are likely to move local government towards greater progressivity.
Potential changes to the FTC
The potential of a Democratic majority on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) raises concerns among tech companies and advocates. With the recent appointment of Rohit Chopra to fill an open seat on the commission, Democrats now have a three-to-two majority. Commissioners can then implement policies and agendas previously blocked by Republican opposition.
The FTC, created in 1914 as part of President Woodrow Wilson’s trust-busting agenda, is essentially focused on protecting consumers from anticompetitive or deceptive practices. With a Democratic majority, there is speculation that there could be tougher enforcement in areas such as data privacy, online security and online scams targeting vulnerable populations. The commissioners might also challenge big tech mergers they deem anti-competitive under U.S. antitrust laws.
Businesses are understandably concerned about new regulations that could make it difficult for them to operate in their current capacity and possibly lead to more expensive compliance costs. However, privacy activists believe that the FTC’s shift towards more regulation would give consumers and individuals greater protection in digital spaces, which has been lacking for many years.
It may take some time before any changes are implemented due to the lengthy process involved with filing litigation against entities or proposing new rules and regulations from scratch; however, the changes proposed by Democratic commissioners could have a sizable impact on how some businesses operate about data privacy and online security compliance if passed into law or enforced effectively by the FTC itself.
Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter
With the Senate’s confirmation of Noah Joshua Bedoya to the Federal Trade Commission earlier this month, Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter has become the face of the Democratic-majority on the commission.
This confirmation marks Commissioner Slaughter’s first term as the first female Democrat on the commission’s majority. With this momentous event, let’s look at the Washington veteran who is now running the commission.
Biography of commissioner Slaughter
Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter is a Federal Trade Commission Commissioner (FTC) Commissioner. She is the first woman to represent the State of New York on the FTC. After obtaining her law degree from Georgetown University, Slaughter worked as an attorney for successful law firms and non-profit organizations.
In June 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Slaughter to serve on the FTC, and a unanimous vote approved her nomination in the Senate in September of that same year. She is known for advocating for workers’ rights, antitrust laws and privacy protections — issues she has actively championed since taking office. As a commissioner, she prioritizes pro-consumer technology legislation that supports businesses and individuals while protecting consumers’ privacy rights.
She also serves on several government committees such as the National Science and Technology Council’s Working Group on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AIML). In this capacity, Commissioner Slaughter focuses on the legal framework governing competitive markets and works towards establishing greater accountability for AI algorithms and systems used in business applications.
With Commissioner Slaughter’s appointment to lead the FTC in 2021, Democratic commissioners now have a 3-2 majority. This shift indicates a potential shift towards more regulatory practices under her fair competition purview.
Her views on the confirmation
The full U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter on December 14, 2019, becoming the fifth and newest Federal Trade Commission member (FTC) member. She is one of the most important appointees of President Biden’s new administration.
As a Democratic commissioner, Slaughter will join Chairman Rohit Chopra and Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine Wilson in providing a majority-Democratic bloc on the five-member commission. With this appointment begins a new era in antitrust enforcement that promises much tougher oversight of Big Tech companies like Google, Apple and Amazon and closer attention to other monopolies that have gone unpunished for much too long.
In her confirmation hearing in November 2019 before the Senate Committee on Commerce Justice & Science, Commissioner Slaughter outlined her views on how antitrust laws should be enforced and their role in “safeguarding liberty for our citizens” and “preserving economic opportunity” for all Americans regardless of their economic backgrounds. She pledged to ensure that antitrust practices were fair concerning race and gender—two issues close to her heart from her days leading Congressman John Conyers’ Civil Rights Task Force when he served as Ranking Member for Judiciary Committee in 2000s. In addition, she underscored her commitment towards promoting competition through robust enforcement actions against anticompetitive practices such as digital platform leveraging and promised vigorous oversight over corporate mergers & acquisitions so that no companies achieved an unfair advantage over others through those transactions.
Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips
On Tuesday, the United States Senate voted to confirm Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips to the Federal Trade Commission, establishing a 3-2 Democratic majority. Phillips, a former Supreme Court clerk and Assistant Attorney General, will join the commission as its fifth member and become acting Chair if current Chair Joseph Simons steps down as expected.
His confirmation gives Democrats a 3-2 majority on the commission at a critical time.
Biography of commissioner Phillips
Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips is an attorney and a recognized leader in civil rights law. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He’s worked as a civil rights attorney, a prosecutor, and an environment specialist.
Phillips has been active in the Democratic Party since his early years in Los Angeles. In 2012, he was elected to the California Democratic Party Central Committee, where he served until 2014 when he became an elected County Central Committee Member for Los Angeles. In 2016, he ran as Seton Corridor’s representative to be part of the Rules Committee at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
He is also well-known for serving on multiple boards, including Youth Working Group board member of The Duke Ellington School of Arts & Music; Board Member of Blunt Force Theater Group; Advisory Board Member for Democracy Fund Voter Study Group; and Board Member for The Ohio State University School of Music Black Student Union.
Throughout his career he has held several important positions including Chief Metropolitan Deputy District Attorney at the LA DA’s Office; Special Assistant United States Attorney with US Department of Justice & Environment; Senior Counsel with Southwest Enforcement Network (SEN); & Special Counsel for LA City Attorney Race & Equity Unit where he focused on bringing individuals into agreement under Civil Rights protections established by Federal & California laws such as Title VII workplace discrimination case resolution, anti-discrimination laws about housing/accessibility justice initiatives under fair housing laws & access to justice initiatives where disadvantaged communities are afforded legal aid services through uncontested court processes by liaising with various units across many legal offerings as well as immigration advocacy work on behalf of immigrant communities.
In addition to this established professional career Phillips is a well-recognized activist fighting against Voter Suppression tactics used by some states during national elections throughout 2016 among other causes such as LGBT rights marches & rallies both locally & nationally throughout these past 4 years culminating most recently at Portland OR Pride supporting LGBTQIA++ Communities after derogatory statements were issued following their landmark win extending tax protections on religious policies promoting conversion therapy bans across 50 states included under legislation adding human rights protections from religious persecution when observed through LBGTQIA++ conversion based practices or punitive measures resulting from violation thereof outside public dwellings or places of business etc… Peaceful protests were held that weekend in response directly from some local leaders in Oregon prompting Phillips statement regarding honor bound duties amongst government officials upholding Human Rights statutes instead of attempting to limit its access denial based solely on select religious affiliations or vengeful displeasure. He remains committed towards promoting equality within all labor forces addressing anti-bullying awareness programs among middle school aged children into college graduations throughout rural areas during monthly community events observed online keeping people informed while continuing efforts mobilizing constituencies sharing their stories through press conferences alongside fellow activists during congressional visits on Capitol Hill lobbying more support during hearings/testimonies advocating protection/preservation initiatives targeting vulnerable habitats amongst uncommon but sorely needed conversation topics specified accounting procedures designed safeguarding public outreach activities over larger geographical boundaries ultimately electing more candidates amending restrictive signatory implements previously dispersed through tribal organizations coalescing them under one unified government working towards protecting environment resources preventing further environmental damage globally no matter sector designation country borders notwithstanding meeting certain criteria regarded international agreements among global networks exhibiting stewardship responsibility cultivating bona fide accreditation requirements shouldering leadership qualities deserving recognition sworn commitments providing essential services essential fuel sources benefitting human kind proactive defense posturing conservation groups edging out long term commitment via renewable energy reliance secure borders no political gamesmanship stop loss prevention maintaining certain densities surface area roads leveraging technological advantages changing budgetary allocations fortifying data centers ramping up cross border collaboration building infrastructure implementing climate change adaptation strategies elbowing stubborn corporates reworking pension /salary management strategies redefining initial funding requirements creating healthier working conditions eventually achieving lower qualified default rate standards improving population health healthcare dispersal critical disease control methodologies further impacting low income earners implementation regulatory rebunding higher quality jobs managing industry hot spots revolutionizing private sector risk management diversifying supply chains mitigating resource deflation rescuing petri dishes cognizant epigenetics applications propelling innovative transition schemas spurring economic growth within recycled ecosystems surety indemnification models favoring plant forecasting next steps toward healthy green paths therein solidifying relationship management priorities revamping transparency protocols adhering open source innovations sweeping high traffic touch points beyond playbooks surpassing prototypical methodologies granting access education sustaining basic tenets encompassing dichotomous constructivism waiting out relentless pandemics two steps leading prevention further downstream stimulating collective conscious aspirational expectations transcending digital ethos deescalating homebound dystopian nightmares staying clear calamitous cataclysms no stone unturned sequester related fees updated virtual visions traditional non digital HR tools life’s kinetic force morphic field awareness communally shared reverence unlocking economic adaptive resonance putting vision care back center health promoted intersectoral collaboration outcomes remotely accessible research data otherwise defining measurement outcomes ensuring dependent variable integrity advancing layered transformational choices mapping functional beneficiary application standardization else expanding lead time models repeating parameterized investments transparently apportioned monetary intentions determining humanitarian dispositions thru cross platform enabling benefit aggregation mainstreaming augmentation potentially selecting reallocation mechanisms made passive durable vectors subdividable core assets repositioned precautionary stability assets stress tested algo coherence trade off optimization succinct convergence strategy zero defect governance metric infrastructure normative analog deployment architecture preparing political fallouts zero sum bargaining suasion overseeing cost effective protocol revisions drilling down framework integrals applying structural verifications synchronizing grassroots trust conveyance embracing disparity processes ensuing genetic comprehension.