Biden’s controversial candidate to become ambassador to India cleared a major hurdle in the Senate on Wednesday with the help of seven Republicans, putting the embattled former mayor of Los Angeles on track to get final confirmation, more than 600 days since he was first nominated.
Garcetti needed a simple majority to end the floor debate on his nomination, and seven Republicans helped him win: Bill Cassidy, La.; Roger Marshall, Kan.; Lindsey Graham, SC; Steve Daines, Mont.; Susan Collins, Maine; Bill Hagerty, Tenn.; and Todd Young, Ind. The Senate voted to end debate 52-42, almost certain to get the vote for his final confirmation vote.
Democrats Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, voted 39 Republicans against Garcetti.
Garcetti became controversial after reports surfaced that he ignored allegations of sexual harassment against his former chief of staff in Los Angeles. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., dropped out of the nomination last month, saying Garcetti “disregarded credible allegations of sexual assault in his previous office.”
ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT NO SHUTDOWN FOR WA NOMINATION OF FORMER LA MAYOR GARCETTI
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will deliver a State of the City address from the under-construction Sixth Street Viaduct in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 14, 2022. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
President Biden first nominated Garcetti in July 2021. After clearing his first committee hurdle, Garcetti failed to get a full vote in the Senate after new revelations about a sexual harassment lawsuit involving his former top adviser came to light.
Those allegations emerge in an ongoing lawsuit against Rick Jacobs, Garcetti’s former chief of staff. Jacobs faces charges of sexual harassment in the form of inappropriate comments, unwanted kissing and touching, and sexual advances against a male LAPD officer assigned to Garcetti’s security detail, a male reporter, and other whistleblowers.
LA MAYOR GARCETTI ‘PROBABLY KNEW’ ABOUT ‘WIDESPREAD’ SEXUAL HARASSMENT, RACIST COMMENTS FROM EX COUNSEL: SENATE REPORT
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at a press conference at the new West Gates in Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday, May 24, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP photo/Ashley Landis) (AP photo/Ashley Landis)
RUBIO HOLDS BIDEN NOMINATED ERIC GARCETTI BACK TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT SCAND
Senior Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa opened an investigation into the matter last year, conducting interviews with 15 witnesses and examining 26 statements and other documentary evidence, including emails and text messages. Grassley’s investigative staff concluded that Garcetti “probably knew, or should have known, that his former senior adviser was sexually harassing and making racial slurs against multiple individuals.
Garcetti took a hurdle in the Senate on Wednesday despite allegations that he ignored an allegation of inappropriate behavior by a former staffer. ((Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool, File))
“Nobody is bold enough to engage in this kind of outrageous behavior against other people unless they know they have a powerful facilitator protecting them. Based on the facts and evidence, that facilitator is Mayor Eric Garcetti,” Grassley said. last year.
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The White House called that investigation a “hit job” and said President Biden fully supports his nominee, who is “well qualified to fill this critical role.”
A Republican said it was critical for the Senate to confirm an ambassador to India after nearly two years of delay.
“For more than two years, the Biden administration and Senate Democrats have failed to secure a Senate-confirmed ambassador to India – the world’s largest democracy, an emerging economic power and one of our most important strategic partners in the Indo- Pacific.” said Senator Hagerty. “As a former US ambassador to Japan, I know firsthand that this is a critical US diplomatic position.”
Brianna Herlihy is a political writer for Fox News Digital.