Susan Collins joins 6 GOP senators to confirm Biden’s India ambassador
In this article, you will get detail regarding Susan Collins joins 6 GOP senators to confirm Biden’s India ambassador
WASHINGTON — Former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was confirmed by a divided Senate on Wednesday as the nation’s next ambassador to India, 20 months after he was first nominated by President Joe Biden and after withstanding doubts about his veracity in the sexual harassment scandal that one chief adviser was involved. during his stay in the City Hall.
The 52-42 vote gave the administration a long-sought victory in filling one of the nation’s top diplomatic posts.
The president “believes that we have a crucial and consequential partnership with India and that Mayor Garcetti will be a strong and effective ambassador,” White House spokeswoman Olivia Dalton said after the vote.
The session began with uncertain prospects for Garcetti, a two-term progressive Democrat who was first nominated by President Joe Biden for the top diplomatic post in July 2021.
With several Democratic defections, Garcetti’s fate was to enroll Republicans in a chamber often divided along party lines. He secured seven GOP votes to advance the nomination to a final vote.
Republican Senator. Susan Collins of Maine said, “I met him in person. He obviously has a huge amount of expertise about India. India has been without an ambassador for two years, and that is too long. And I will support him.”
Sen. Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., who endorsed Garcetti in the committee vote, said he would also vote yes.
“It is a national security imperative to have an ambassador in India immediately. We can’t afford to wait any longer,” Young said.
The ambassadorial vacancy left a significant diplomatic void for the administration at a time of rising global tensions, including China’s growing presence in the Pacific region and Russia’s war with Ukraine.
India, the world’s most populous democracy, continues to buy oil from Russia as Western governments try to limit fossil fuel revenues that support Moscow’s budget, its military and its invasion of Ukraine. Russia also provides most of India’s military equipment.
The nomination is fraught with questions about what the former mayor knew, and when, about sexual harassment allegations against his friend and once-close adviser Rick Jacobs. The lawsuit alleges that Jacobs frequently abused one of the then-mayor’s police bodyguards, while Garcetti ignored or mocked the abuse.
Garcetti, the son of former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, has repeatedly denied the claims. Jacobs called the allegations against him “pure fiction.” The case is scheduled for trial later this year.
At a Senate committee hearing in December 2021, Garcetti said, “I never witnessed, nor was it brought to my attention, the conduct that is alleged. . If it was, I would immediately take measures to prevent it.”
Wednesday’s vote tested Democrats’ loyalty to Biden and also measured ratings of Garcetti’s judgment and trustworthiness, stemming from City Hall allegations that have dogged him in the #MeToo era.
“I think we can find someone who will do a better job,” Sen said. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, one of the Democrats who has signaled opposition to Garcetti.
Garcetti also failed to win over Democrat Mark Kelly of Arizona, who said he had “serious concerns.”
Rachel Rizzo, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said she felt frustrated by the lack of ambassadors during a recent trip to India. She said it “gives the impression that the relationship is not important”.
“It really points to the internal dysfunction in the US Congress right now and it makes it very difficult for us to send the messages that we’re trying to send when it looks to our diplomatic partners that we don’t have our house in order,” she said.
“I think that’s been a problem over the last few years.”
Last May, the Senate’s top Republican released an investigation that concluded Garcetti “probably knew or should have known” that Jacobs had allegedly sexually harassed city employees, a finding that appeared to contradict the mayor’s claim that he was unaware of any what inappropriate behavior. The 23-page report released by Sen. Iowa’s Chuck Grassley thinks it’s “extremely unlikely” that the mayor at the time would have been unaware of the allegations of misconduct.
The White House called the report a partisan slander.
In a last-ditch effort to stop the nomination, Grassley released a statement Tuesday saying “the Biden administration has no credibility when it comes to protecting victims of sexual harassment.”
“What will it take for the Biden administration to believe the victims?” Grassley wrote. “On the one hand, the Biden administration says it supports the victims. Yet on the other hand, the Biden administration is supporting a candidate who enables misconduct that creates more victims.”
The nomination, which was first announced in July 2021, was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 2022, but was not fully considered by the Senate. Biden renominated Garcetti earlier this year, and the White House has defended him as a well-qualified candidate.
In a politically divided vote, the committee resubmitted the nomination to the full Senate earlier this month. Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, the top Republican on the panel, said the “new evidence” raised questions about Garcetti’s judgment and led him to oppose the nomination.
Garcetti’s confirmation follows a contentious tenure at Los Angeles City Hall framed by the twin crises of homelessness and the pandemic, rising crime rates and sexual harassment and corruption scandals. The Los Angeles area, once known for its boundless growth, has seen its population decline.
Garcetti took office in 2013 with a “back to basics” agenda aimed at fixing LA’s notoriously cratered streets and sidewalks. But those early ambitions faded as out-of-control homeless encampments transformed the city, and then the government closed businesses, restaurants and school classrooms — and cut hundreds of thousands of jobs — in the depths of the pandemic.
The former mayor is credited with continuing to build transit in the traffic-choked city and establishing stricter earthquake safety standards for thousands of buildings.
An Ivy League and Rhodes scholar, he spent two decades in city government, either as mayor or as a city councilman, and took a detour to the diplomatic corps. Ambassadors are often a reward for political supporters.
Garcetti considered a run for the White House in 2020, but later became part of Biden’s inner circle, emerging as a widely discussed possibility to join Biden’s cabinet. He pulled out of the race after many of the positions were filled, saying the coronavirus crisis made it impossible for him to step down from City Hall at the time.
Story by Michael R. Blood, The Associated Press. Associated Press writers Seung Min Kim, Lisa Mascaro, Farnoush Amiri, Kevin Freking and Stephen Groves contributed. Blood was reported from Los Angeles.
More articles from BDN
Susan Collins joins 6 GOP senators to confirm Biden’s India ambassador
For more visit IlmHunt.com
Latest News by IlmHunt.com