President Biden’s pick to serve as an FCC Commissioner is withdrawing her nomination, following a bitter 16-month lobbying fight that blocked her appointment and opened her up to ruthless personal attacks.
Gigii Sohn, a longtime public interest advocate and former Democratic FCC official who was first nominated by the White House in October 2021, said her decision to withdraw followed “unrelenting, dishonest and cruel attacks on my character and my career as an advocate for the public interest.”
She said it has taken an enormous toll on her and her family.
“Unfortunately, the American people are the real losers here. The FCC deadlock, now over two years long, will remain so for a long time. As someone who has advocated for my entire career for affordable, accessible broadband for every American, it is ironic that the 2-2 FCC will remain sidelined at the most consequential opportunity for broadband in our lifetimes,” said Sohn in a statement.
“This means that your broadband will be more expensive for lack of competition, minority and underrepresented voices will be marginalized, and your private information will continue to be used and sold at the whim of your broadband provider. “
The administration was unable to unify Democrats behind Sohn’s nomination in a narrowly divided Senate. Just hours before Sohn announced her decision to withdraw, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) dealt a crippling blow, announcing he would vote against her, accusing her of holding “partisan alliances with far-left groups.”
Manchin said that the FCC needed a leader who would “remain above the toxic partisanship that Americans are sick and tired of, and Ms. Sohn has clearly shown she is not the person to do that.”