LightSquared controversy prompts Grassley to block FCC nominees
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) officially notified the Senate that he plans to place a hold on the confirmations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to be FCC commissioners.
Grassley has requested information from the FCC, as well as LightSquared and its chief financier, Harbinger Capital, about how the agency handled LightSquared’s quest to build a wholesale nationwide wireless network. Tests have shown that the company’s original plan interfered with global positioning systems.
The FCC and LightSquared have denied the requests for documents. In a letter to Grassley on Oct. 19, lawyers for LightSquared and Harbinger said the companies have been “fully transparent.” But because Grassley did not also request documents from the GPS industry, LightSquared argued that any further disclosure would present an incomplete picture.
The hold will go into effect when and if the confirmations reach the Senate floor after being considered by the Commerce Committee.