By Jeffrey May, J.D.
The FTC is operating with five commissioners for the first time since August 2015. One day after Joseph Simons was sworn in as chairman, the FTC today announced that Noah Joshua Phillips, Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, and Rohit Chopra were sworn in as commissioners. They join Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen, whose term expires in September and who is awaiting confirmation from the Senate for a federal judgeship.
President Trump named five commissioners, and all five received Senate confirmation on April 26. Phillips most recently served as Chief Counsel to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, of Texas, on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Slaughter served as Chief Counsel to Senator Charles Schumer of New York. Chopra was most recently a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Federation of America and a Visiting Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. Additionally, Christine Wilson, currently the senior vice president for regulatory and international affairs at Delta Air Lines, was nominated by the president to serve on the Commission. Because she was nominated to fill the seat held by Ohlhausen, Wilson will have to wait for Ohlhausen to depart the agency.
Ohlhausen, who had been serving as acting chairman since January 25, 2017, was for a brief time the only member of the Commission. Commissioner Terrell McSweeny departed the agency on April 28. Simons was sworn in on May 1. Ohlhausen has indicated that she will depart the agency if and when she is confirmed as a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Simons, Phillips, and Ohlhausen are Republicans, as is Wilson. Chopra and Slaughter are Democrats. No more than three commissioners can be from the same party.
Simons welcomed his fellow commissioners and said that he was looking forward to working with them. "With such a strong group of Commissioners, I know we can carry on the agency’s legacy of advancing the interests of American consumers and promoting competition in the U.S. economy," Simons said.
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