JUST IN: AT&T-BellSouth Off The Table At Next FCC Meet
We've just learned that debate and a possible vote on the contentious merger of AT&T/BellSouth will not be on the agenda December 20.
That's the last FCC session until the new year, when the Democrats- many of whom have expressed strong reservations about this merger- take over the House and Senate. This gives them Chairmanships of key Committees that could attempt to block this merger.
The other big looming issue related to the new Senate's ideological inclinations is the illness of Sen. Tim Johnson (R-South Dakota). If he is unable to serve, that state's Republican Governor would appoint a replacement. A Republican replacement would even out the Senate's partisan balance 50-50, probably requiring a round of highly charged and very partisan negotiations about which party holds the chairmanship of each committee. With Republican Vice-President Dick Cheney holding the tie-breaking vote, the Republicans could push for a slight majority in the number of Senatorial Committees they helm.
Far too early to tell, though. Wishes and prayers for the Senator's recovery health are immensely more in order than reading political tea leaves are at this point.
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