Monday, July 15, 2024

Eric Garcetti’s India Ambassadorship Just Might Squeeze Through Senate

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Ex-mayor Eric Garcetti’s on-again-off-again trip to India appears to be on again.

Maybe.

L.A.’s 52-year-old former mayor, who handed City Hall’s keys to Karen Bass in December, has been packing his bags for New Delhi ever since President Joe Biden nominated him for the ambassador post back in July 2021. But sexual harassment allegations leveled against Garcetti’s former municipal aide Rick Jacobs—and charges that Garcetti turned a blind eye toward those allegations—have kept Garcetti’s Senate confirmation dangling for nearly a year and a half, and by the end of 2022, it looked like both Biden and Garcetti were ready to throw in the towel. Talk around town was that Biden was instead going to appoint Garcetti as U.S. envoy on climate, a job that doesn’t require confirmation and may soon be vacant if rumors are true that the job’s current occupant John Kerry is ready to retire.

But now, it looks like Garcetti may have a shot at India after all. In January, Biden announced that he was resubmitting Garcetti’s name to the Senate, which now has one more Democrat in it since the midterm elections. Will that extra seat make all the difference? Capitol Hill sources are skeptical since it’s not just Republicans objecting to the appointment but also a couple of Dems, like Mark Kelly, who have expressed concerns.

Still, in December, before the newly expanded Democratic majority took office, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer managed to squeeze together enough votes to confirm Biden’s pick for ambassador to Brazil, Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, who’d been ensnared in a scandal of her own regarding old comments that some deemed anti-Semitic.

If Schumer could pull Bagley over the finish line with only 50 Democrats, shouldn’t he be able to do the same for Garcetti now that he’s got 51?

Obviously, Biden thinks so; otherwise, he wouldn’t keep nominating the guy.

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