About two years ago, President Joe Biden proposed former Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti for the position of US ambassador to India. A vital diplomatic appointment that ought to have been straightforward devolved into a great struggle. And it wasn’t simply party opposition; many Democrats were vehemently opposed to the selection of the former mayor.
Garcetti was eventually approved on March 15 after a two-year battle, and a small number of Republicans were instrumental in making that happen.
The Senate confirmed Garcetti on Wednesday by a vote of 52 to 42. His confirmation put an end to a 614-day conflict. The confirmation is being hailed as a win for Biden, who resisted giving in and selecting a different candidate, as he had to for previous jobs. The former mayor, who supported Biden from the start, is said to have been considered for a number of jobs.
The confirmation was a “very good thing,” according to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), because the nation’s relationship with India is “extremely important.”
The Biden nomination received unanimous support from the following senators: Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Todd Young (R-IN), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). These selections followed the Daily Caller News Foundation’s (DCNF) revelation that Garcetti had reportedly taken more than $1 million in contributions from two individuals with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The ambassador allegedly headlined events alongside members of teams that acted as fronts for the United Front Work Department, a CCP organization. The organization “coordinates and conducts influence operations.”
Republicans supported Garcetti despite their reservations. Graham said simply, “We need an ambassador to India,” in response to DCNF’s inquiry, while Hagerty said similarly, calling it a “critical US diplomatic position.”
Not just Republicans were concerned about the ambassador. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) declared in advance that she would not provide a “yes” vote.
The senator claimed to have “very credible” material that would remove Garcetti from consideration. Republicans were worried about his potential role in the cover-up of a sexual harassment problem, but she refused to specify what the issue was.
Hirono was joined by two other Democrats in voting against him. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) cast “no” votes.
According to Garcetti, he never thought about dropping his name from consideration. He said that despite the objections, Biden had urged him to continue.