U.S. Senate panel set to vote on FCC, FTC auto safety nominees on Feb 2


FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the headquarters of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is set to vote Feb. 2 on nominees to head the auto safety agency and to open seats on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) among other positions, according to a notice seen by Reuters.

The panel is set to consider more than a dozen nominations including Steven Cliff to head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has not had a Senate-confirmed leader since January 2017.

Cliff, a former California Air Resources Board official, has been serving as deputy NHTSA administrator and overseeing several agency investigations into Tesla.

The committee is also set to vote on Gigi Sohn for the FCC. If she were confirmed by the Senate, it would give Democrats control of the FCC, which is currently split 2-2. The notice said the nominees to be voted on could change.

Sohn, a former senior aide to Tom Wheeler who served as FCC chairman under former President Barack Obama, said last year that it would take at least a year for the commission to reinstate landmark neutrality rules repealed in 2017 under then-President Donald Trump. She told senators she does not favor government regulation of broadband rates.

The committee is to consider Alvaro Bedoya to serve on the FTC, according to the notice.

In December, the panel deadlocked 14-14 on Bedoya's nomination. After the full Senate failed to take up the nomination before the end of the year, Biden renominated Bedoya, a law professor and privacy advocate, earlier this month.

Bedoya, founding director of Georgetown Law's Center on Privacy & Technology, is also a former chief counsel of the U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law.

The agency enforces antitrust law and pursues allegations of deceptive advertising, including scams.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Kim Coghill and Shailesh Kuber)

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