Senate Confirms Former LA Mayor Eric Garcetti as Ambassador to India

Samantha Flom
By Samantha Flom
March 15, 2023Politics
Senate Confirms Former LA Mayor Eric Garcetti as Ambassador to India
Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti speaks during the ceremony honoring Mexican-U.S. actress Angelica Vale with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star in Hollywood, Calif., on Nov. 10, 2022. (Michael Tran/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will be the Biden administration’s first ambassador to India, filling a nearly two-year vacancy after the Senate voted to confirm him to the role on March 15.

In the end, it was Senate Republicans who carried Garcetti across the finish line, confirming him in a 52-42 vote despite his lack of support from some Democrats.

President Joe Biden had initially nominated Garcetti to the role in 2021, though his confirmation hit turbulence when he was accused of ignoring sexual harassment allegations that were leveled against Rick Jacobs, one of his former advisers.

A Senate investigation requested by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) found that it was “extremely unlikely” that Garcetti had been unaware of Jacobs’ “pervasive, widespread, and notorious” behavior.

The White House excoriated the report, describing it as “partisan” and “a hit job from the beginning.”

But Garcetti’s confirmation process stalled nonetheless, prompting Biden to renominate him for the ambassadorship on Jan. 3.

While most Democrats supported Garcetti’s nomination in the final vote, there were a few who opposed it.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who had initially said she would vote to confirm Garcetti, told NBC News on March 15 that she had changed her mind, citing “information that was given to me in confidence, but very credible, which is leading to my no vote.”

Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) also voted against Garcetti.

Meanwhile, a number of Republican senators broke party ranks to support his confirmation, including Todd Young of Indiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Steve Daines of Montana, Roger Marshall of Kansas, and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Last week, Hagerty and Young joined with Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democrats to advance Garcetti’s nomination, stressing the importance of filling the ambassadorship.

“Senator Hagerty believes that for more than two years, the Biden administration and Senate Democrats have failed to get a Senate-confirmed ambassador to India—the world’s largest democracy, a rising economic power, and one of our most important strategic partners in the Indo-Pacific,” a spokesperson for Hagerty told The Epoch Times in a March 8 statement.

“As a former U.S. ambassador to Japan, Senator Hagerty knows firsthand that this is a critical U.S. diplomatic position and believes the Senate should vote on it.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) echoed that sentiment on March 15 before the final vote saying, “The United States-India relationship is extremely important, and it’s a very good thing we now have an ambassador.”

From The Epoch Times

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