Former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s nomination to be ambassador to India faces new trouble.
In a statement released Friday, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., announced that he would place a hold on Garcetti’s nomination, as well as six of Biden's other nominees for various posts.
"One of these nominees has ignored credible sexual assault accusations in his prior office, said Rubio in a statement. “I will not turn a blind eye to these absurd nominations, which will hasten America’s decline.”
The Senate Foreign Relations committee was scheduled to vote on Garcetti’s nomination on Feb. 28.
Garcetti has faced hurdle after hurdle since President Joe Biden nominated him to the post over 18 months ago.
Biden tapped Garcetti — who was then the mayor of Los Angeles — to represent the U.S. to India in the spring of 2021, hoping that he'd fill an ambassadorship position that had sat empty since Kenneth Juster stepped down at the end of the Trump administration.
While he had resounding support in the Foreign Relations Committee — only Rubio voted no — Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa placed a hold on the nomination in March 2022, delaying a vote by the full Senate.
A U.S. Senate report, published in May 2022, suggested that it was "extremely unlikely" that Garcetti was unaware of sexual harassment and racist behavior by one of his top aides, Rick Jacobs. (A separate report, published ahead of the Senate report and performed by an outside law firm commissioned by the City of Los Angeles, cleared Garcetti and Jacobs of wrongdoing.)
After the Senate failed to confirm Garcetti in the 117th Congress, the Biden administration announced it was re-submitting Garcetti’s nomination for Senate confirmation.
A White House official told Spectrum News last month that Garcetti was renominated because he is an "experienced candidate with bipartisan support who deserves swift confirmation to a post of crucial importance to our national security."
The White House struck the same tone in a statement on Friday, reiterating that Garcetti is "well-qualified to serve in this vital role, and that the executive branch is "hopeful that the full Senate will confirm him promptly."
Garcetti has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Last year, Garcetti’s parents, Gil and Sukey Garcetti, hired a lobbying firm, McGuireWoods Consulting, to help secure their son's nomination in the Senate. McGuireWoods reported receiving approximately $90,000 from April 1 to Dec. 31 to lobby on Eric Garcetti's behalf, according to lobbying disclosure reports.