Trump, Loeffler urge Senate to confirm FCC nominee who wants to rein in Big Tech
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As social media discrimination against conservatives ramps up in the final weeks before the 2020 elections, some conservatives are expressing frustration that Senate Republicans have been slow to act on the nomination of President Donald Trump’s latest nominee to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Nathan Simington.
The FCC is the federal agency that regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, and other means, and is directed by five commissioners.
Breitbart reports that Trump nominated Simington to replace the outgoing Michael O’Rielly, a Republican appointed by then-President Barack Obama. O’Rielly has expressed doubts that the FCC has the authority to implement a Trump executive order meant to clarify how “good faith” is defined as it pertains to internet companies’ takedown decisions. Trump had originally re-nominated O’Rielly for the post, but withdrew his re-nomination after O’Rielly opposed touching the controversial Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act.
By contrast, it is believed Simington, an adviser within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, will be much more aggressive and reform-minded. His nomination is said to have already alarmed longtime insiders simply by virtue of their unfamiliarity with him. The Verge reports that Simington helped draft Trump’s executive order.
Trump has urged the Senate to confirm Simington “ASAP,” but conservatives have accused the Senate Commerce Committee, headed by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), of being slow to act. Committee member Sen. John Thune (R-SD) initially suggested Trump should re-nominate O’Rielly instead, but committed to “moving forward as soon as possible” on Simington following coverage of his comments by Breitbart and others.
On October 15, following Facebook and Twitter taking steps to suppress the circulation of a bombshell New York Post report on emails that appeared to show Hunter Biden selling access to his father, former Vice President and current Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) said the committee “must confirm Nathan Simington as quickly as possible,” as “an independent voice who will always stand up for the First Amendment.” That day, the committee finally announced hearings on his nomination will begin on November 10.
“We know that Big Tech companies are biased against conservatives, and we know they are abusing their Section 230 powers,” Loeffler said. “Currently, these platforms claim to operate like a public forum, but their selective censorship against conservatives makes these platforms content publishers, and they should not be entitled to Section 230 protections. I have joined colleagues to ask the FCC chairman to re-examine this categorization, and I have introduced legislation to stop Big-Tech’s selective censorship cold.”