The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Wednesday to advance the nomination of former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to be ambassador to India.
Garcetti’s nomination will now go to the full Senate, though it is unclear when Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) will schedule a floor vote, and whether Garcetti has enough votes to be confirmed.
Most Republicans on the Foreign Relations panel opposed Garcetti’s nomination Wednesday, in contrast to last year’s business meeting, when Garcetti and others sailed through without any stated objection. Two Republicans voted for Garcetti.
Wednesday’s business meeting was postponed more than a week after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) suspended nominations for Garcetti and others.
In a statement announcing his position, Rubio accused Garcetti of ignoring “credible allegations of sexual assault in his previous role” and called other nominations before the committee “absurd.”
Garcetti’s nomination has been plagued by allegations that he knew or should have known that his former top adviser, Rick Jacobs, was allegedly sexually harassing colleagues and making racist remarks.
Jacobs has denied the allegations, and Garcetti testified at his confirmation hearing in December 2021 that he “never witnessed, nor was brought to my attention, the behavior that is alleged.”
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) released a 23-page report last year that found it “extremely unlikely” that Garcetti did not know about his aide’s alleged behavior.
Vulnerable Senate Democrats whose seats are up for reelection in red states in 2024 told The Times last week they had not investigated the nomination and were unsure how they would vote.
But Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she was “impressed” with Garcetti’s knowledge of India after the two met privately last week. She remains undecided, but she left the door open to cast a key vote in her favor.
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) threw his support behind Garcetti.
Senate Democrats hold a 51-49 majority over Republicans, and a majority of senators would need to support Garcetti’s nomination to send him to New Delhi as US ambassador to India.
Earlier this week, Federal Communications Commission candidate Gigi Sohn withdrew her nomination after Sen. Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.) announced he would vote against her.
Other nominees before Wednesday’s panel included Richard Verma to be assistant secretary of state for administration and resources; Stephanie Sanders Sullivan as the United States representative to the African Union; Michael Alan Ratney to be ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Greeta Rao Gupta will be general ambassador for global women’s issues; L. Felice Gorordo as US Deputy Executive Director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Richard LA Weiner, US Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; and Leopoldo Martínez Nucete to be US executive director of the Inter-American Development Bank.