Republican opposition produced an evenly split vote Wednesday for Alvaro Bedoya’s nomination to be the fifth Federal Trade Commission member and its crucial third Democratic vote.
Weeks after a mostly easygoing hearing for the Georgetown University Law Center scholar and privacy expert, the Senate Commerce Committee voted 14-14 on forwarding Bedoya’s nomination to the Senate floor. The deadlock does not kill Bedoya’s nomination and instead necessitates an extra procedural vote by the full Senate, which will need united Democratic support to confirm him to the job.
The committee’s ranking Republican, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., summed up opposition to Bedoya highlighted last month by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who criticized the nominee over tweets Cruz insisted showed Bedoya to be a left-wing radical. Cruz was one of the few members who posed tough questions to Bedoya.
“I remain concerned by the frequency with which he has expressed divisive opinions,” Wicker said, “rather than a measured and more unifying tone.”