Several GOP senators supply votes to confirm former LA Democrat Mayor Garcetti as India ambassador

The Senate voted 52-42 on Wednesday to confirm Garcetti, after a nearly two-year process. 

Updated: March 17, 2023 - 9:05am

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Former Los Angeles Democrat Mayor Eric Garcetti has been confirmed as the next U.S. ambassador to India – in a long, contentious process in which he needed several "yes" votes from Senate Republicans. 

The Senate voted 52-42 on Wednesday to confirm Garcetti, after a nearly two-year process. 

Garcetti was first nominated in July 2021. But his confirmation, and eventual appointment, was held up in part over concerns about how he handled sexual misconduct claims against a former aide while he was mayor, according to NBC News. Garcetti denied wrongdoing.

Washington lawmakers from both parties have stressed the need for a permanent ambassador to India, considering the country is a strategic and geopolitical partner to the U.S.

Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii; and Sen. Mark Kelly, of Arizona, opposed the Garcetti's nomination.

Hirono said before the vote Wednesday she had additional information "given to me in confidence, but very credible, which is leading to my no vote," NBC also reports. However, she wouldn’t say what that information was.

Among the chamber Republicans who voted in favor of the nomination were Sens. Susan Collins, of Maine; Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina; Steve Daines, of Montana; Bill Hagerty, of Tennessee; Roger Marshall, of Kansas; Bill Cassidy, of Louisiana and Todd Young, of Indiana, NBC also reports.

Still, other Republicans questioned the qualifications of Garcetti, who was a national co-chairman to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

"I just don't think he's qualified – especially with all the questions that are still circling around his previous tenure," said Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, referring to Garcetti's time as mayor.

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