© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters following the Senate Republicans weekly policy lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., May 3, 2022. REUTERS/Michael McCoy
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell urged the Biden administration on Tuesday to reconsider its nomination of privacy expert Alvaro Bedoya to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, possibly extending the Democrats’ inability to take control of the agency.
In a floor speech, McConnell said of Bedoya: “He is an essentially foolish choice – foolish – when the American people handed this administration a 50-50 Senate. I would urge my colleagues on both sides to stop this awful nomination so the president can reconsider and send us somebody suitable.”
McConnell said Bedoya has publicly criticized police, among other allegations. The Chamber of Commerce also opposes the nomination.
Votes on the nomination could come as early as Wednesday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said Bedoya was needed on the five-member commission – now 2-2 between Democrats and Republicans – in order for the agency to investigate oil companies Democrats say are “gouging” consumers with high gasoline prices.
The commission cannot move forward with a contemplated action on a tie vote.
Bedoya, a visiting law professor at Georgetown University, is a former chief counsel of the U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law.