HomeUS News updateEric Garcetti narrowly passes key test vote in Senate to be U.S....

Eric Garcetti narrowly passes key test vote in Senate to be U.S. ambassador to India

WASHINGTON – The Senate voted 52-42 Wednesday to advance the nomination of Eric Garcetti as US ambassador to India, a key test vote that could lead to final confirmation later in the day.

The long-delayed Garcetti nomination became unusually controversial and sparked some last-minute drama. First nominated in July 2021, he was voted out in part because of concerns about how he handled sexual misconduct claims against a former aide while mayor of Los Angeles. Garcetti has denied wrongdoing.

Many Democrats voted against pursuing his nomination, but enough Republicans supported Garcetti to pursue it.

Barring any unexpected twist, the final vote expected on Wednesday afternoon will give the US its first permanent ambassador to India under President Joe Biden, more than two years into his term.

“The United States-India relationship is extremely important, and it’s great that we now have an ambassador,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y, said after the procedural vote.

The distinction has irked many lawmakers from both parties, given the administration’s emphasis on India as a strategic and geopolitical partner, including as a hedge against China.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, said India is the “world’s largest democracy,” a key “US ally” and “part of the Quad,” the security alliance. It also includes Australia, Japan and the US

“It’s a really important relationship, becoming more important, and they deserve a certain ambassadorship. They do,” Cain said. “If you don’t confirm an ambassador, the message to the nation is ‘I think it shouldn’t be that important.’ And we don’t want to send that message to any country, especially not India.”

Some Republicans questioned the qualifications of Garcetti, who served as national co-chair of Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

“I don’t think he’s qualified — especially with all the questions still swirling around his last term,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. said, referring to Garcetti’s time as mayor.

The vote led to an unusual ideological scramble. Democratic Sense. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii revealed Wednesday that they will not vote with Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona. But a group of Republicans voted yes and helped garner the necessary support, including Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Steve Daines of Montana, Bill Hegerty of Tennessee, Roger Marshall of Kansas and Bill Cassidy was involved.

Hirono said before the vote that there was additional “information that was given to me in confidence, but very reliable, which is causing me to not vote.” She would not say what that information was.

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

Garcetti’s nomination was approved last week by the Foreign Relations Committee with the support of Democrats and two Republicans: Haggerty and Young.

“It’s a growing economy and it’s one of our most important strategic relationships,” said Haggerty, himself a former US ambassador to Japan. “And to not have an ambassador out there, I think sends completely the wrong message.”

Ryan Nobles, Ali Vitali And alexandra bacalao Contribution,



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