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Senate Commerce Eyes Aug. 2 FCC Nominees' Markup; Committee Democrats Seek Deal on Clyburn Successor

The Senate Commerce Committee tentatively plans an Aug. 2 markup on nominations of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, commissioner nominees Brendan Carr and Jessica Rosenworcel and other nominees, committee Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., told us Wednesday. Meanwhile, Committee Democrats seek some deal on the FCC nominees that would assuage their concerns about how Senate Commerce would handle a possible Democratic nominee to replace current Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., told us he and fellow Democrats are aiming to work out an agreement with Senate Commerce Republicans on the three FCC nominees “that ensures that if there is a vacancy [in Clyburn's seat], that there's a guarantee” that a successor Democratic nominee “will be confirmed.” Senate Commerce Democrats have been vetting potential candidates to replace Clyburn and hadn't reached a consensus on a preferred nominee, we have reported.

Thune told us “there may be staff-level discussion” occurring about how to handle possible “contingencies” should Clyburn step down, and he hasn't had any “official conversations.” Senate Communications Subcommittee ranking member Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, isn't "ready to talk” publicly, he told us.

Clyburn's office had no comment Wednesday on any of her future plans. Her term ended June 30 but she can stay until the end of this Congress unless succeeded by another Democratic commissioner to fill her slot.