Republican Texas Sen. and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ranking member Ted Cruz questioned President Joe Biden’s FCC chair nomination Gigi Sohn over her past political contributions during the FCC nomination confirmation hearing Tuesday.
Cruz pressed Sohn about her political contributions over the years which amounted to $32,000, further saying Sohn was the only person he had heard about who donated to political candidates while waiting for nomination confirmation, according to the senator’s remarks. Biden initially nominated Sohn for the role in October 2021, but a vote was not held, as Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) members scrutinized her advocacy work, political contributions and history as a director at the now-defunct online streaming service Locast.
In 2022, Sohn donated $550 to Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, $100 to Democratic Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and John Fetterman and $200 to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett, according to The Washington Examiner. Sohn also donated $2,900 between April and October of 2020 to Biden’s presidential campaign.
“The 15 months that your nomination has been pending, you made not one, not two, not three. You made 12 separate political contributions to senators running for office. I’ve been in the senate for 10 years. I’ve never seen a nominee make contributions to senators while your nomination is pending. I’ve never seen it once,” Cruz said during the hearing. “I had my staff search the records to see if we could find anyone in the Trump administration who had done that. My staff was unable to find that.”
When asked by Cruz, “Do you believe it was poor judgment to give 12 separate political contributions to Democrat Senators while your nomination was pending?” Sohn responded, “The answer is no.”
Sen. Ted Cruz to Biden FCC nominee Gigi Sohn: “Do you believe it was poor judgment to give 12 separate political contributions to Democrat Senators while your nomination was pending?”
Sohn: “The answer is no.” pic.twitter.com/D59XFyVS0h
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) February 14, 2023
After it was made known that Sohn had made political contributions to senators while still nominated, the American Accountability Foundation (AAF) sent a letter to Bennett, Cortez Masto, Fetterman and Warnock, urging the lawmakers to recuse their vote for Sohn. (RELATED:Biden’s FCC Pick Gigi Sohn Cut Sweetheart Deal With Broadcasters One Day After Nomination)
“Ms. Sohn’s donations to your campaigns and your acceptance of her contributions during the pendency of her confirmation have irrevocably corrupted the decision-making process and made an objective vote on her confirmation impossible,” AFF President Tom Jones wrote in the letter.
Sohn did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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