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Biden to renominate Garcetti to U.S. ambassador to India post

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President Biden plans to renominate former Mayor Eric Garcetti to be U.S. ambassador to India after Garcetti’s confirmation failed to advance through the U.S. Senate last year, a White House official confirmed Tuesday.

The White House is expected to resubmit nominations for roughly 60 people for jobs in key administrative posts or national security positions as well as 25 judicial nominees who failed to win confirmation last year, the official said. Candidates must be renominated at the start of each new Congress.

As the Democrats take control of the Senate, Biden will renew his support for Garcetti, as well as Phil Washington to head the Federal Aviation Administration and Danny Werfel to lead the Internal Revenue Service.

News of Biden’s decision to renominate Garcetti was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Biden’s support for Garcetti, who was also renominated for the position last year, is notable given how long the nomination has lingered in D.C.

The stalled nomination left a vacancy in a key diplomatic post, coming as Biden looks to allies to help contain the rise of China and shore up support for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also host the G-20 leaders in New Delhi in September.

Garcetti was announced as the White House pick for India in July 2021, but a vote on the appointment has never been scheduled following some Democratic senators’ concerns over sexual harassment allegations leveled against former Garcetti aide Rick Jacobs.

At the same time, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) has placed a hold on Garcetti’s nomination.

Ernst’s fellow Iowa Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley, issued a report in May that found that the allegations of sexual harassment against Jacobs, a former deputy mayor, were “pervasive, widespread and notorious.”

The report also concluded that it was “more likely than not that Mayor Garcetti either had personal knowledge of the sexual harassment or should have been aware of it.” Jacobs has denied harassing anyone and Garcetti has said he wasn’t aware of any improper behavior.

Garcetti has insisted that he has backing from some Republican senators that could help him gain the necessary votes to win confirmation.

The former mayor has waited far longer for confirmation — more than 500 days — than all others whom Biden has designated to be ambassadors, according to the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told The Times in December Garcetti’s nomination would continue to be a priority for the White House in the new year. The White House is expected to receive approximately 175 nominees from Congress that failed to clear the upper chamber last year, according to an official. Biden intends to continue processing more of those nominees in the coming weeks.

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