Senate Committee Promotes Eric Garcetti for Ambassador

On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to nominate former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for the post of ambassador to India.

Garcetti’s nomination will now go to the full Senate, although it’s unclear when Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) will call for a floor vote – and whether Garcetti has enough votes to confirm.

“I am honored to be President Biden’s nominee to this important office, and I am delighted that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee once again approved my candidacy in a bipartisan vote,” Garcetti said in a statement.

A majority of Republicans on the Foreign Relations Caucus opposed Garcetti’s nomination on Wednesday, in contrast to last year when Garcetti and other nominations passed without any stated objection..

Two Republicans voted for Garcetti on Wednesday, which bodes well for his eventual confirmation, the senator said. Robert Menendez (DN.J.), who chairs the committee.

“I think he will find a way forward on the floor to be supported,” Menendez said. “The only question is to give him time on the floor. Nominations take time.”

Wednesday’s business meeting was postponed more than a week after Senator Marco Rubio (RF) suspended the nominations of Garcetti and others.

In a statement about his decision, Rubio accused Garcetti of ignoring “credible allegations of sexual harassment in his previous post” and called other nominations before the committee “absurd”.

Garcetti’s nomination was accompanied by accusations that he either knew or should have known that his former senior adviser Rick Jacobs allegedly sexually harassed colleagues and made racist comments.

Jacobs denied the allegations, while Garcetti testified at his confirmation hearing in December 2021, he “never witnessed or brought the alleged behavior to my attention.”

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) released a 23-page report It was revealed last year that it was “highly unlikely” that Garcetti was unaware of his assistant’s alleged behavior.

Vulnerable Senate Democrats, whose seats are up for re-election in red states in 2024, told The Times last week they had not considered the nomination and did not know how they would vote.

But Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she was “impressed” by Garcetti’s knowledge of India. they met alone last week. She remains undecided, but leaves the door open for a decisive vote in his favor.

Sen. Mazi Hirono (Hawaii) supported Garcetti.

Senate Democrats have a 51-49 majority over Republicans, and a majority of Senators will need to support Garcetti’s candidacy to send him to New Delhi as US Ambassador to India.

Earlier this week, FCC nominee Gigi Son withdrew her candidacy after Senator Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.) announced he would vote against her.

Other nominees before Wednesday’s panel included Richard Verma for Under Secretary of State for Management and Resources; Stephanie Sanders Sullivan will be the US representative to the African Union; Michael Alan Ratney will be Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Greta Rao Gupta to become Global Women’s Ambassador; L. Felice Gorordo – Deputy Executive Director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development from the USA; Richard LA Weiner appointed director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the United States; and Leopoldo Martinez Nucete, Executive Director of the US Inter-American Development Bank.

Times Staff Writer Dakota Smith contributed to this report.

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