U.S. President Joe Biden renominated former mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, for Ambassador to India after his previous nomination reached a standstill and expired.
Garcetti was originally nominated by Biden in July of 2021, but it was stalled after the U.S. Senate questioned and sought further investigation into Garcetti’s awareness of alleged misconduct within Los Angeles City Hall.
When asked about Garcetti’s re-nomination at a White House media scrum Tuesday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Biden administration is looking forward to Garcetti being confirmed after he was unanimously approved by a bipartisan committee.
“Our relationship with India is crucial and it’s consequential,” Jean-Pierre said. “We see this as a very important nomination… and we’ll continue to seek the confirmation of mayor Garcetti, who was voted out of a committee, unanimously and with strong bipartisan support to serve as ambassador to India.”
At the request of Sen. Charles Grassley, R-I.A., the senate looked into whether or not Garcetti had prior knowledge of his former aide Rick Jacobs allegedly inappropriately touching multiple men in 2020.
When asked about the allegations while fielding questions on the Senate Foreign Relations floor, Garcetti denied any prior knowledge of the incidents and said he had cut ties with Jacobs.
“Simply said… harassment and discrimination have no place in the workplace, no place in our society and I have zero tolerance for that,” Garcetti told the senate on Dec. 14. “In regards to this specific case, I want to say unequivocally that I never witnessed, nor was it brought to my attention, the behavior that’s been alleged. I also want to assure you that if it had been, I would have immediately taken action to stop that.”
The White House also backed Garcetti after the 2021 senate hearing, saying that President Biden had full confidence in the former Los Angeles mayor.
“Mayor Garcetti has been clear that he takes any allegations of harassment very seriously and has made clear this type of misconduct is unacceptable in his office in any form,” the White House said in a March 2022 statement. “He has also said that he never witnessed this behavior nor was told about it prior to the litigation. The president has confidence in Mayor Garcetti and believes he’ll be an excellent representative in India.”
With a newly-elected congress in place, Biden sent the senate his renomination for Garcetti, as well as nominations for 25 other would-be ambassadors. Biden also sent nominations for U.S. circuit judges, district judges and various other directorial and counsel positions.
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