As anticipated, President Trump nominated Rebecca Slaughter, Chief Counsel to Senator Charles Schumer, for the FTC’s fifth vacant commissioner slot. Ms. Slaughter identified the following items as the top three challenges facing the FTC:

  • Ensuring that enforcement efforts keep pace with emerging technologies noting in particular that privacy and data security enforcement pose new technological challenges to the FTC.
  • Effectively coordinating with other federal agencies such as the CFPB, FCC and DOJ.
  • Ensuring that consumers know what FTC resources are available to them.

As noted in our previous blog post on February 12, President Trump nominated three Republicans and one Democrat to fill the FTC’s vacant seats. Now that the fifth commissioner has been nominated, it is expected that the Senate will confirm all five nominees in the near future.

It is rather extraordinary to have five new commissioners join the agency at the same time. There have been times in recent decades where two commissioners may join the agency at the same time, but a complete turnover has probably not occurred since the first commission was created in 1914. The FTC Act provides that the five commissioners serve staggered seven year terms and that no more than three commissioners can be from one political party. The usual course is that when one commissioner’s term expires a new commissioner is nominated and after being confirmed by the Senate, joins the Commission.