Sen. Ted Cruz celebrates Gigi Sohn FCC withdrawal, questions other Biden picks

'[Wednesday] was a major victory for free speech in America,' Sen. Cruz said

FIRST ON FOX: Count Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, among those expressing relief this week after President Biden’s embattled Federal Communications Commission (FCC) nominee, Gigi Sohn, withdrew her name from consideration. 

"[Wednesday] was a major victory for free speech in America. Gigi Sohn was President Biden's nominee to the Federal Communications Commission and [she] is a left-wing partisan activist. She spent her entire career as a left-wing partisan activist," Cruz told FOX Business. 

Cruz, who serves as ranking member on the Senate Commerce Committee, was instrumental in the fight against Sohn, saying her past actions made her "dangerous" for the role.


"She hates Fox News. She has repeatedly described Fox News as a threat to democracy, and she has advocated using government power to silence conservatives, to silence those with which she disagrees. She would have been very, very dangerous on the FCC," the Texas senator added, referring to Sohn’s controversial past statements

Sohn, who was first nominated by the White House in October 2021, faced fierce bipartisan pushback, withdrawing after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced this week he would not support her nomination. 

Gigi Sohn testifies during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing examining her nomination to be appointed Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. (photo by Pete Marovich for The New York Times/POOL)

Gigi Sohn testifies during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 9, 2022. (Pete Marovich for The New York Times/Pool / Getty Images)

Manchin, in a statement released Tuesday, said, "Especially now, the FCC must remain above the toxic partisanship that Americans are sick and tired of, and Ms. Sohn has clearly shown she is not the person to do that. For those reasons, I cannot support her nomination to the FCC."

Cruz emphasized that Sohn’s withdrawal was not solely a partisan effort. 

"We were able to unify all of the Republicans on the committee in opposition to her nomination and also to win over the votes. Several Democrats at the end of the day agreed with us that putting a left-wing radical on the FCC was not acceptable, that her past ethical problems were a serious barrier to her nomination," he said. 

The withdrawal comes amid a series of controversies surrounding White House nominations that conservatives say are too partisan for the positions they would serve. 


Cruz also criticized Phil Washington, President Biden’s pick to lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), who endured a tough confirmation hearing last week.  

"There's another nominee pending before the Commerce Committee, Phil Washington, the nominee to be the administrator of the FAA, who is woefully unqualified. He has no background in aviation safety whatsoever," Cruz explained. 

"I think just like Gigi Sohn, Phil Washington is not going to have the votes to be confirmed. I think the Biden White House is going to end up withdrawing that nomination," he continued. 

Senator Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz speaks during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Feb. 15, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Democrats, however, said during Washington’s confirmation hearing that it was, in fact, a good thing that the nominee didn’t possess an extensive background in the industry. 

"I think Phil breaks the mold of past FAA administrators in important ways. He’s not an airline industry insider using this role as a position for the industry to be policing itself," said Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., during the hearing. 


Still, Cruz insists the FAA is not the place to be testing candidates with limited experience. 

"There are lots of places in the federal government you can stick someone who is a buddy of the Democrats. The chief administrator of the FAA charged with preventing people from dying in plane crashes is not one of them," he concluded.