Julius Genachowski received final clearance to assume the chairmanship of the FCC, as the full Senate voted yesterday to confirm his nomination. Senate lawmakers approved Genachowski’s nomination alongside that of current Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell, who was also confirmed yesterday for a full term. Genachowski, a Democrat who once served as legal advisor to former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, will take up his new role after he is sworn in—an event that is expected to take place within a matter of days. Observers also anticipate that Genachowski will be on board to preside over the next FCC open meeting that is scheduled for July 2. Congratulating Genachowski, acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps (who is slated to return to his previous duties as an FCC commissioner) said, “I look forward to working with Julius and all my colleagues at the Commission in tenacious pursuit of a communications policy that truly puts the public interest first.” Meanwhile, as yesterday’s Senate vote took place, President Obama took steps to fill the FCC’s remaining vacant seat by nominating Meredith Atwell Baker, the recent acting director of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), as FCC commissioner. The nomination of Baker, a Republican, will be sent to the Senate alongside that of Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat and member of the South Carolina Public Service Commission who, technically, would fill the FCC seat to be vacated by Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein but would serve out the remainder of former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s term. Before joining NTIA in 2004 as a senior advisor, Baker served as vice president of Williams Mullen Strategies and as director of congressional affairs at wireless association CTIA. From Capitol Hill to the FCC to key industry players, reaction to the nomination was positive. As acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps touted Baker as “an excellent choice for the job,” ranking Senate Commerce Committee Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas predicted that Baker would serve as “a strong, independent voice on the [FCC].” Describing Baker as “extremely smart, well-versed in communications policy, and a skilled coalition builder,” Progress & Freedom Foundation president and former top FCC official Ken Ferree said, “I commend the president for his choice.”