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Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

President Biden has designated Jessica Rosenworcel as acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, according to an agency statement.

Why it matters: Rosenworcel, currently a Democratic commissioner at the agency, will be tasked with implementing a new broadband subsidy program meant to help Americans stay connected to the internet during the coronavirus pandemic.

Details: Rosenworcel served as an FCC commissioner during both the Obama and Trump administrations. She supported net neutrality rules and opposed mega-mergers that came before the agency including that between T-Mobile and Sprint.

  • Her greatest focus, however, has been on shoring up the FCC's subsidy programs and the broadband connectivity data they rely on.
  • Rosenworcel has particularly emphasized the need to close the "homework gap" — the divide between students who have fast, reliable in-home internet and those who don't.

Yes, but: She may be constrained in her ability to advance some major policy initiatives, as the FCC is currently deadlocked along party lines, until Biden can name a third Democrat to the five-member commission.

What's next: Biden will either tap Rosenworcel to be permanent chair or pick another candidate to head the agency, subject to Senate confirmation.

Go deeper

Lawmakers call for Israel-Hamas ceasefire amid aerial bombardments

Combination images of Republican Sen. Todd Young and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy. Photo: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images/Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and 28 Senate Democrats on Sunday called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as fighting continued into the night.

Driving the news: In the first bipartisan call for a ceasefire, Young, a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, joined its Chair Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) a statement saying: "Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas' rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing.

Bill Gates faces scrutiny over relationship with Microsoft employee, Epstein ties

Photo: Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Representatives for Bill Gates pushed back on claims Sunday that he left Microsoft's board because of an earlier sexual relationship and against two other reports detailing more extensive ties with Jeffrey Epstein than had previously been reported.

Driving the news: Microsoft said in an emailed statement to Axios that it "received a concern" in 2019 that its co-founder "sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000," but denied a Wall Street Journal report that its board members thought Gates should resign over the matter.

AT&T in talks with Discovery to combine media assets

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AT&T is in talks with media giant Discovery about merging its media assets, like CNN, TBS and TNT, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

Why it matters: A potential merger could allow AT&T and Discovery to better compete with entertainment giants like Disney and Netflix in the video streaming wars.