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Senate panel advances Eric Garcetti's nomination for ambassador to India

The 13-8 vote sends Garcetti to the full Senate, where he needs a majority to be confirmed. Senators have questioned his handling of sexual harassment claims against an aide.
Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles
Eric Garcetti during his State of the City Address in Los Angeles, on April 14, 2022.Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via AP file

WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Wednesday to advance the nomination of Eric Garcetti to be U.S. ambassador to India, sending it to the full chamber for approval.

The vote on the former Los Angeles mayor was 13 to 8, with Democrats voting in his favor and winning over two Republicans: Sen. Todd Young of Indiana and Sen. Bill Hagerty of Tennessee.

The vote is a positive sign for Garcetti, whose nomination has been held up since it was made in July 2021, in part because of questions about his handling of sexual harassment claims against an aide while he was mayor. Garcetti has denied any wrongdoing.

It is not clear when the full Senate will vote on his nomination; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday he hoped to bring it up "soon." Garcetti needs a simple majority to win confirmation.

The Foreign Relations Committee approved Garcetti's nomination in January 2022, but he never got a full Senate vote due to opposition from several senators, including some Democrats.

The U.S. does not currently have a permanent ambassador to India, even though President Joe Biden and his administration, along with many members of Congress, see the country as a key strategic partner in the shared goal of containing the rise of China.

Biden re-nominated Garcetti to the position earlier this year after it lapsed at the close of the last Congress.