Bloomberg News

FCC Member Copps Sets Departure as Nominees Await Senate Votes

December 09, 2011

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Michael Copps, a Democrat whose term on the Federal Communications Commission has expired, announced his resignation as his replacement awaits Senate approval.

Copps, 71, who joined the agency in 2001, intends to resign by Jan. 1 and will leave before then if the Senate confirms his replacement or adjourns, he said in a statement distributed by e-mail today.

Two FCC nominees -- Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Ajit Pai -- face a confirmation vote by the Senate Commerce Committee on Dec. 8.

Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, has said he plans to block the nominees in a dispute over whether the agency gave favorable treatment to Philip Falcone’s proposed LightSquared wireless venture.

The agency has five members when at full strength. It has been operating with four members, three of them Democrats including Chairman Julius Genachowski, since a Republican left in June to join Comcast Corp.

Copps’s second term on the FCC ended in June 2010. After terms expire, FCC commissioners may serve until a congressional session ends or a replacement arrives.

--Editors: Michael Shepard, Steve Walsh

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Shepard at

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