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Fresh from leading the GOP 16-day government shutdown, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) this week blocked the scheduled Senate vote Wednesday on Democrat Tom Wheeler, President Obama's choice to head the Federal Communications Commission, Reuters wire service reports.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) can force a vote on the nomination if he can muster 60 Senate votes, generally difficult to do, though there is enough bipartisan detestation of Sen. Cruz that it may be possible. Republican Congressional staffer Michael O'Rielly's FCC commissioner nomination also is awaiting a Senate vote, leaving what is supposed to be the five-member FCC Commission at loose ends.
Acting FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn also has had to contend with all but a couple dozen of the FCC's 1,700 staffers being furloughed during the shutdown, according to the Reuters article. Perhaps the FCC, overseer of the airwaves, was somehow interfering with the voices Sen. Cruz is hearing in his head chanting "President Cruz in 2017."