WASHINGTON-The White House and Senate leaders reached agreement to move presidential nominations forward, possibly clearing the way for a confirmation hearing as early as next week on Jonathan Adelstein’s appointment to the Federal Communications Commission.
Senate action on Adelstein, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-S.D.), and other nominees has been stalled for months because of disputes between Democrats and Republicans over Bush’s picks. The nominations must still clear a major hurdle. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), ranking member of the Commerce Committee, said he would continue to block all Bush nominees until the White House agrees to a recess appointment in August of a Democrat to the Federal Election Commission.
Adelstein, backed by the wireless industry and expected to be a strong voice on rural telecom issues, would round out the five-member FCC. The GOP-led commission currently comprises three Republicans and one Democrat. He would serve the remainder of former FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani’s five-year term, which expires June 30, 2003.
Adelstein, a native South Dakotan, has spent the past six years as Daschle’s adviser on telecommunications, high technology, banking and transportation issues.