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Support grows for McDowell FCC nomination

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Support for the nomination of telecom lobbyist Robert McDowell for the Federal Communications Commission seemed to be solidifying in Washington Wednesday.

McDowell picked up a key endorsement Tuesday from Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, despite industry concerns about his work on behalf of companies that compete against the major telecom firms.

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Sources told the National Journal that the majors might tone down any objections to McDowell rather than risk offending the powerful chairman.

The FCC, currently made up of two Republicans and two Democrats, oversees issues such as access to infrastructure and allocation of spectrum for wireless communications.

Analysts have raised the possibility that McDowell's experiences as a telecom lawyer and lobbyists could require him to recuse himself from some decisions.

A formal nomination from the White House is expected within a few weeks.

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