Oct 24, 2013
First he shut down the government. Now Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) is blocking the confirmation of Tom Wheeler as head of the Federal Communications Commission.
The tea party member has placed a hold on the nomination because he opposes the DISCLOSE Act, an important CWA-supported bill that would have increased transparency of independent groups' campaign spending – except it failed to overcome a GOP filibuster last year. Since the bill has stalled, some Democrats have suggested that the FCC might be able to use its authority to bring greater openness to campaign spending. So Cruz intends on blocking the nomination until Wheeler pledges not to require more disclosures from the sponsors of political television ads.
"Disclosing who sponsors and pays for political ads is all about bringing transparency to our political system. By supporting the ability of big money donors to spread their message in secrecy, Ted Cruz is clearly on the wrong side of democracy," said CWA President Larry Cohen.
Since Wheeler's fate is in limbo, the confirmation of Michael O'Reilly, nominee for a Republican FCC seat, has also ground to a halt.
There may be another Senate rules showdown is on the horizon.