Noah Phillips, one of two Republican commissioners at the Federal Trade Commission, is set to leave the agency in the Fall. Phillips’ departure comes at an extraordinarily high-profile moment at the agency, one marked by a heightened skepticism toward corporate consolidation. The move opens the door to fresh political jockeying over the aggressive regulator.

Phillips said he plans to resign in the Fall. A departure date has not been set. Phillips and his fellow Republican Commissioner Christine Wilson have openly sparred with her over policy and enforcement priorities and her management of the agency. The FTC has suffered from plummeting morale since Khan took over.

Khan's nomination could be a divisive one. The president typically defers to the opposite party in the Senate. It's unclear who will have the upper hand in the selection, but Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is likely to play a major role.

Sen. Cruz is expected to be either chair of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee or its ranking member. Cruz, himself a former FTC staffer, has criticized the tech giants over perceived biases against conservative speech. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) the current Senate Commerce ranking member is also expected to weigh in.

The White House could angle for someone aligned with Khan. Wicker initially supported Khan, but he has since expressed concerns over her management of the agency. Phillips: “Fundamentally more than anything else now is the right time for me and my family.”
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