Senate set to substantiate ex-LA mayor Garcetti as India envoy after controversy
Former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was on the verge of being confirmed as US ambassador to India Wednesday after his nomination cleared a key Senate examine vote — with seven Republicans voting in favor no matter a sexual misconduct scandal involving one amongst Garcetti’s excessive advisers.
The Senate voted 52-42 to proceed to a closing affirmation vote on Garcetti, 52, whose nomination course of was dragged out after his former excessive political adviser Rick Jacobs was accused of sexual assault, harassment and making racist remarks.
Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Steve Daines of Montana, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Todd Young of Indiana and Susan Collins of Maine all voted to maneuver forward with Garcetti’s affirmation.
Democratic Sens. Mark Kelly of Arizona, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii voted in opposition to advancing Garcetti to a closing vote.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the score member of the Judiciary Committee, talked about in a press launch Tuesday that he strongly opposed Garcetti’s affirmation as a results of the California politician had “enabled sexual harassment and racism to run rampant in the Los Angeles mayor’s office.”
“When the nomination expired, I had hoped President Biden would recognize his egregious mistake, believe the victims, and change course,” Grassley added. “President Biden failed to do so. Indefensibly, at the same time the Biden administration decries sexual harassment and racism, it’s now twice nominated an individual to represent our country abroad who has enabled those very same disgusting acts.”
Grassley and fellow Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst positioned a preserve on Garcetti’s nomination closing yr to look into the allegations. Though the nomination expired in January 2023, Biden decided to re-up Garcetti for the operate the similar month.
Garcetti, who was initially picked for the New Delhi submit in July 2021 after serving as co-chair of Biden’s 2020 presidential advertising and marketing marketing campaign, may be put in in one of many important important diplomatic posts for guiding Washington’s methodology to China.
Garcetti beforehand served on the board of directors for an affiliate of the Asia Society, a nonprofit group with hyperlinks to Chinese companies and organizations which have pushed Beijing-backed propaganda, The Washington Free Beacon has reported.
Garcetti served as LA mayor from 2013 to 2022 after sitting in town council for 12 years sooner than that. Former US Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) modified Garcetti as the city’s mayor in January.
Majority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) admitted to reporters sooner than the vote on Wednesday that he hadn’t “whipped [Garcetti’s] nomination.”
South Dakota Republican Whip Sen. John Thune talked about Tuesday that “having that position open for this long for a huge ally, like India, isn’t a good thing.”
He added, “But at the same time when you get somebody into a consequential position like that, you want to: one, make sure they’re qualified; two, that they’ve got the character to carry the job.”
A Los Angeles police officer and a former mayoral spokeswoman every accused Jacobs of sexual harassment when he served as Garcetti’s deputy chief of staff from 2013 to 2016.
The officer, Matthew Garza, and communications director, Naomi Seligman, talked about Jacobs would engage in undesirable bodily contact, at one stage forcibly kissing Seligman all through her tenure from 2015 to 2017.
The accusations spawned a 310-page report, which was delivered to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee closing November, and senators delayed Garcetti’s vote with a view to search the recommendation of it.
Grassley talked about his office moreover independently “identified over 19 individuals who’ve either witnessed Jacobs’ behavior or were the victims of it,” along with “his former Communications Director, senior staffers, junior staffers, businessmen, civic leaders, and a Los Angeles Police Department officer assigned to protect him.”
Garcetti testified at a December 2021 affirmation listening to that he “never witnessed” the habits, “nor was it brought to my attention, the behavior that’s been alleged.”
Months later, Biden expressed “confidence” in Garcetti whatever the allegations.
“The president has confidence in Mayor Garcetti and believes he’ll be an excellent representative in India,” then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki talked about in March 2022. “His nomination advanced unanimously with bipartisan support in committee. The White House and the State Department are making calls to senators and working to earn bipartisan support for his nomination. He should receive a vote in the Senate expeditiously.”
Hagerty and Young voted the similar month to maneuver forward to a flooring vote for Garcetti’s affirmation, incomes a rebuke from Senate Foreign Relations Committee score member Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho).
“While information on the question of his knowledge of harassment by a former senior aide is still being collected, new evidence has raised enough questions regarding his judgment that I will be voting no,” he talked about.
But Young knowledgeable The Wall Street Journal closing week it was a “national security imperative to immediately have an ambassador in place in India.”
“We can’t afford to wait any longer,” he talked about.
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