For Planning Purposes
Contact: Maria McElwain
December 6, 2020
Confirmation could gridlock the FCC, blocking actions to help consumers, workers & students during the COVID-19 pandemic
Nathan Simington worked on efforts to attack free speech online while in the Trump Administration & has almost no relevant experience for the independent agency
[WASHINGTON, DC] – On Monday, December 7, 2020 at 5:00 PM ET, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) will join representatives from Fight for the Future, Access Now, Free Press, Media Justice, New America’s Open Technology Institute, Public Knowledge, and United Church of Christ’s media justice ministry, Office of Communication, Inc. on a video conference call rallying opposition to the lame duck confirmation of Nathan Simington to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Simington could be confirmed as early as Tuesday.
Simington has been nominated to fill a vacancy left by President Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Reilly’s re-nomination, whose renewal for another term was pulled after he criticized the administration’s Executive Order targeting Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, punishing social media platforms in blatant violation of the First Amendment. Simington was directly involved in drafting and peddling the proposal.
Simington has almost no relevant experience for the position, and had difficulty answering even basic questions about issues under the FCC’s jurisdiction during his confirmation process. In the middle of a health and economic crisis that has kept millions of Americans away from their schools, workplaces, friends, and family, the FCC’s role in protecting online access is critically necessary.
Simington’s confirmation would likely deadlock the Commission indefinitely, blocking the agency’s ability to help Americans access the internet during the pandemic or restore net neutrality. This confirmation would also violate the Senate’s tradition of moving Commissioners in bipartisan pairs.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Fight for the Future
New America’s Open Technology Institute
United Church of Christ’s media justice ministry, Office of Communication, Inc.
Monday, December 7, 2020 at 5:00 PM ET
To join the Zoom video conference, please RSVP to email@example.com.