Senate confirms Eric Garcetti as US ambassador to India

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti attends the premiere of Prime Video’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” at Culver Studios on August 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Michael Chen | AFP | Getty Images

The Senate voted 52-42 on Wednesday to appoint the former Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti Become the next US ambassador to India.

The long-delayed Garcetti nomination has become extraordinarily contentious and sparked some last-minute drama. Several Democrats voted against advancing his nomination, but enough Republicans supported Garcetti’s appointment as the first permanent U.S. ambassador to India in more than two years of Joe Biden’s presidency.

“The U.S.-India relationship is extremely important and it’s a good thing we now have an ambassador,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.

Garcetti was first nominated in July 2021, partly because of concerns How he handled sexual misconduct allegations against former aide during his tenure as mayor. Garcetti has denied wrongdoing.

Given the importance the Biden administration attaches to India, the delay in sending a permanent ambassador to New Delhi has unnerved many lawmakers on both sides as a strategic and geopolitical partner, including as a bulwark of confrontation China.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, said India was “the world’s largest democracy,” an “important ally of the United States” and “part of a four-way alliance” that also includes Australia, japan and america

“It’s a very important relationship, and it’s becoming more and more important, and they deserve a confirmed ambassador. And they do,” Kane said. “If you don’t identify the ambassador, the country gets the message ‘I guess this must not be that important.'” We don’t want to send that message to any country, especially India. “

Some Republicans have questioned Garcetti’s eligibility to serve as the national co-chair of Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

“I just don’t think he’s qualified — especially considering all the issues that still exist from his previous tenure,” said Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, referring to Garcetti’s time as mayor.

The vote led to an unusual ideological battle. Democratic Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Mazzie Hirono of Hawaii and Mark Kelly of Arizona opposed the nomination. But a group of Republicans voted yes and helped secure the necessary support, including Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Steve Daines of Montana, Bill Haggerty of Tennessee, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Todd Young of Indiana.

Hirono said earlier Wednesday that there was additional “information that was given to me in confidence but was so credible that it led me to vote against it.” She would not say what that information was.

Sen. Mike Rounds, RS.D., who previously supported Garcetti on the committee, voted against advancing the nomination Wednesday, attributing his switch to new information he learned.

Garcetti’s nomination is officially recognized It was passed by the Council on Foreign Relations last week and passed a procedural vote early Wednesday by a margin of 52 to 42, all but ensuring confirmation.

“It’s a growing economy and one of our most important strategic relationships,” said Haggerty, a former U.S. ambassador to Japan. “I think the absence of ambassadors there completely sends the wrong message.”

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