O’Rielly Says He Will Not Serve Another Term as FCC Commissioner
Thursday, October 01, 2020 | Comments

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said he will not seek another term on the commission regardless of the outcome of the upcoming presidential election.

“I have truly enjoyed my time at the commission, and I have been incredibly humbled by the opportunity to serve our great country,” O’Rielly said during the commission’s Sept. 30 meeting. “The fact of the matter is that my time of service is coming to an end regardless of the November presidential election. While there has been some speculation over whether I would return to the commission under certain circumstances, I do not seek for anyone to pursue my continued service at the commission beyond my current term, which will conclude at its appropriate point sometime later this year.”

President Donald Trump nominated O’Rielly to another term on the FCC but later withdrew the nomination. Media reports at the time indicated the nomination may have been withdrawn because O’Rielly did not support the president’s attempts to regulate social media.

Prior to that withdrawal, Senate Armed Forces Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe also placed a hold on O’Rielly’s nomination until O’Rielly committed to vote to overturn the FCC’s decision to modify Ligado’s L-band license. Critics of the move, such as Inhofe, have argued that Ligado’s use of the spectrum could cause interference with GPS and satellite communications.

“I am holding Commissioner O’Rielly’s nomination until he publicly states that he will vote to overturn the current Ligado order,” Inhofe said in a statement at the time. “I understand that O’Rielly has stated that he would give ‘due consideration to a stay’ based on new data or evidence, but that isn’t enough. This isn’t just about our military, but all users of GPS are united in opposition. All of America can’t be wrong, and he understands that. I need his commitment in plain English to vote to overturn the order, not just consider it, before I will allow his nomination to proceed.”

Trump has since nominated Nathan Simington to take O’Rielly’s seat. He is awaiting confirmation from the Senate.

President Barack Obama appointed O’Rielly to the commission in November 2013. In January 2015, he was confirmed for another term.

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