New FCC commissioners start work; third in limbo

Jun 4, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Two of the Bush administration’s nominees to the Federal Communications Commission-Kathleen Abernathy and Michael Copps-officially started work at the agency last week.
But at deadline it remained unclear when the third nominee-White House attorney Kevin Martin-would be able to begin, due to an apparent paperwork glitch.
Ms. Abernathy, who was named to a GOP seat, and Mr. Copps, a Democrat, were able to start their new jobs immediately after being sworn in by FCC Chairman Michael Powell in separate private ceremonies last Thursday.
The holdup for Mr. Martin, who was confirmed for another GOP seat, is that his Senate paperwork appears to bar him from officially going on the FCC payroll before July 1.
But some sources expect the Senate to revise his confirmation, enabling him to start in June, after lawmakers return from the Memorial Day recess.
Once Mr. Martin is on board, the FCC will have a 3-2 Republican majority.
Ms. Abernathy was previously a vice president for U.S. West (now Qwest Communications) and a legal adviser to former FCC Commissioners Jim Quello and Sherrie Marshall. Mr. Copps is a former aide to Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., who is expected to be named soon as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.