Robert M. McDowell is a Republican Commissioner on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Senate Commerce Committee initially scheduled his renomination hearing for June 16, 2009, to be considered along with Julius Genachowski, President Barack Obama's nominee for FCC Chair.  However, at least one Senator on the committee objected to the attempt to streamline Genachowski's and McDowell's nominations. The Senate may hold a floor vote on their nominations before its summer break, which begins June 29. 
McDowell was nominated February 3, 2006, by President George W. Bush to be an FCC Commissioner, for the remainder of a five-year term expiring June 30, 2009. McDowell has the distinction of being the third Republican FCC member. He replaced Kathleen Q. Abernathy, who resigned. McDowell's nomination was sent to the Senate February 6, 2006.
At the time of his nomination, McDowell was Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel), "a lobbying group for companies that primarily compete against the Baby Bells." 
"Prior to this, he served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the America's Carriers Telecommunications Association. Earlier in his career, he was a Senior Attorney at Helein & Associates, P.C." McDowell received his bachelor's degree from Duke University and his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the College of William and Mary. 
"McDowell failed in a 2003 bid to win a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, where he sought to represent an area that includes some suburbs surrounding Washington, DC. He has worked as a communications lawyer for more than a decade. He also served as a lawyer for the Bush-Cheney team during the Florida vote recount saga in 2000 and did advance work for Bush and First Lady Laura Bush in 2004," Reuters reported.
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Related SourceWatch articles
- John Eggerton, "Senate Commerce Committee Slates Genachowski, McDowell Hearing: Confirmation Hearing Set For FCC Chairman, Commissioner June 16," Multichannel News, June 9, 2009.
- John Eggerton, "Attempt To Hotline Genachowski, McDowell Nominations Falls Short: Nominations could still get approval by a floor vote next week," Broadcasting & Cable, June 19, 2009.
- Jeremy Pelofsky, "Bush Seen Nominating Telecom Lawyer To FCC", Reuters, January 23, 2006.
- Glen Dickson and John Eggerton, "McDowell Questions the Lack of Women and Minorities in Broadcasting," Broadcasting & Cable, March 9, 2007.
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