Washington: After Kenneth I. Juster, the place of US ambassador to India has been mendacity vacant since January 2020. Two years on and the place being vacant, President Joe Biden has renominated Eric Garcetti, who has been shadowed by an issue over sexual harassment, as envoy to India.
For the unversed, the Senate earlier had stalled appointment of Garcetti however Biden has re-nominated him with confidence that he could be confirmed this time.
Garcetti, former Los Angeles Mayor, was initially nominated a number of months after Biden took workplace, however he by no means obtained a vote of the total Senate.
The White House has been publicly defending Garceeti as a “well-qualified” candidate. Last week, the White House stated: “Eric M. Garcetti, of California, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of India.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had stated, “As Secretary (of State, Tony) Blinken said very recently, our relationship with India is crucial and it’s consequential. Confirmation of Mayor Garcetti, who was voted out of committee unanimously and with strong bipartisan support to serve as ambassador to India.”
“… he is well qualified, Mayor Garcetti, to serve in this vital role, and we’re hopeful that the full Senate will confirm him promptly,” she added.
On Tuesday, the White House will resubmit 85 nominations out of roughly 175 that fell quick within the final congressional session.
Why is Joe Biden’s obsessive about Eric Garcetti?
Washington considers India a key strategic ally within the Indo-Pacific. For India, Washington has despatched 5 momentary envoys over two years, however a everlasting one is but to be named.
The momentary envoys have been – Donald Heflin, Daniel Smith, Atul Keshap, Patricia Lacina, and A Elizabeth Jones.
Notably, hand-picked by Biden, Garcetti has been ready for last approval for over 17 months, however its controversial previous has been weighing on his nomination to the put up.
Garcetti failed to win a affirmation from the Senate for greater than 500 days. For the unversed, his appointment was stalled regardless of the Democrats holding majority within the House after the 2022 US mid-term polls.
Garcetti’s candidature was formally introduced by Biden in July 2021. A Senate committee had in January gave a nod for his approval. As per the process, a last vote was scheduled to be performed by the Senate, nevertheless it didn’t happen.
The vote didn’t happen due to a pending investigation into complaints of sexual harassment towards his adviser – Rick Jacobs. He has, nevertheless, denied the allegation.
Chuck Grassley, one of the Republican senator, was among the many first to veto Garcetti’s appointment as US ambassador to India. Gradually, some Democrats are additionally allegedly apprehensive of approving his title.
Who is Eric Garcetti?
Garcetti was co-chair of Biden’s profitable presidential marketing campaign in 2020. During his seven-year stint between 2013 and 2020 because the Los Angeles Mayor, he courted a number of controversies.
During his time period as LA Mayor, the quantity of homeless within the metropolis of four million residents practically doubled from nearly 23,000 to 41,290.
A treatment measure, together with a $1.2 billion venture was introduced by Garcetti to develop 10,000 new housing items, sadly for him, it received marred due to sluggish progress and excessive value.
There have been 20 names awaiting affirmation from the Senate of which Garceeti’s case has been pending the longest.
Who is Rick Jacobs?
Since 2013, Garcetti and Jacobs have been related to one another. Jacobs has held many positions underneath Garcetti, together with his deputy chief of workers, communications director, and political aide.
Jacob was first accused in 2020 by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer Matthew Garza, who was one of Garcetti’s bodyguards. Garza laid sexual assault fees towards him
As per stories, Garza accused Jacobs of touching him inappropriately, making crude feedback and giving undesirable hugs between 2014 and 2019.
The LAPD officer additional alleged that Garcetti of being conscious of Jacobs’ behaviour and turning a blind eye to it.
In February 2021, Henry Casas, who was a public-engagement director for Garcetti from 2013 to 2018, testified that he had seen Jacobs harassing Garza.
He additional alleged that Jacobs would additionally give him shoulder massages.
The record of victims elevated when journalist Yashar Ali got here ahead and accused Jacobs of giving him undesirable kisses on the lips between 2005 and 2015.