Republican Kathryn Abernathy is resigning from the FCC, temporarily leaving Democrats in charge of the agency with a 2-1 majority. Congress will probably not approve Deborah Tate, President Bush's nominee to replace Michael Powell, until 2006, and the administration has not nominated anyone to replace Abernathy.
The Post reports:
The FCC already has one vacancy, leaving a 2-2 split between Republicans and Democrats. Abernathy's departure could leave the FCC in an unusual position of having a Republican chairman and two Democratic commissioners if the Senate doesn't act quickly on the nomination of Republican Deborah Tate.
The chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Ted Stevens of Alaska, has said his panel probably won't act on the nomination before Dec. 12. And with the Senate considering a Supreme Court nominee and a nomination for Federal Reserve chairman, it's not clear how fast the chamber would act on Tate's nomination.