Some GOP Join Dems on Garcetti Ambassadorship

( – An unresolved sexual scandal plaguing former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti did not stop two Republican senators from joining Democrats to advance Garcetti’s nomination to be Ambassador to India.

Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Todd Young (R-IN) voted “yes” on March 8th on the question of sending Garcetti’s nomination to the full Senate for a vote. Other Republican committee members voted against Garcetti.

Jim Risch (R-ID) said he could not vote for Garcetti while information was still being collected about sexual harassment allegations by Garcetti’s staff.

Garcetti was first nominated for the ambassadorship more than 600 days ago. His first nomination lapsed when the previous Congress closed, and Republican Senator Marco Rubio placed a “hold” on his nomination in February.

Garcetti’s nomination will go before the full Senate now that it has passed out of committee on a 13-8 vote. All Democrats on the committee voted “yes,” along with Republicans Hagerty and Young.

Young said it was a “national security imperative” to have a functional ambassador to India and that the matter could not wait any longer.

Hagerty expressed a similar view. A spokesman for his office said that India was the world’s largest democracy and “one of our most important strategic partners in the Indo-Pacific.” As former Ambassador to Japan, the spokesman said, Hagerty believes it’s a top priority to fill the position.

At issue is a lawsuit against Garcetti’s former chief of staff, Rick Jacobs. The suit accuses Jacobs of sexually harassing at least two male staff members, including an LAPD officer providing security. Specifically, the suit claims Jacobs made unwanted sexual advances toward the men, including “unwanted touching and kissing.”

President Joe Biden first nominated Garcetti in July 2021. The nominee got through his first committee hearings that year, but until now has failed to get a full Senate vote. It is not clear when the full Senate will hold a vote.

Copyright 2023,