White House reaffirms support for Mayor Garcetti as envoy to India

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FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti attends the premiere for season two of the television series “Ted Lasso” at Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California, U.S. July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni?

The White House on April 6, 2022, reaffirmed its support for the nomination of the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti as Ambassador to India.

The reiteration of support comes as Garcetti’s confirmation is under a cloud with some Senators in the Democratic Party privately expressing concerns about why Garcetti was unaware of the sexual assault accusations against his top adviser, Rick Jacobs. Members of both parties are awaiting Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley’s investigation into the  controversy.

When asked if not having an envoy in New Delhi was hindering the Russia sanctions policy, White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, said, “Our preference is always to have a confirmed Ambassador on the ground. It’s an incredibly important diplomatic position. We also engage with countries through a range of channels,” she noted however, pointing to the recent visit of Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh to India. That visit was among the the ways of “conveying clearly what the consequences of violating sanctions would be and what the mechanisms are. He (Singh) also made clear that we do not think India should accelerate or increase imports of Russian energy and other commodities, even as obviously those decisions are made by individual countries,” Psaki said.

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On March 30th, White House Director of Communications, Kate Bedingfield, said the White House is confident about Garcetti’s confirmation.  “The President has confidence in Mayor Garcetti.  He believes he will be an excellent representative in India. I would remind you that his nomination advanced unanimously with bipartisan support in committee, and we’re continuing to engage with senators and working to earn bipartisan support for his nomination and believe he should receive a vote in the Senate expeditiously.”

Garcetti needs the support of all 50 Democratic senators and the tie-breaking vote of Vice-President, Kamala Harris, to support his confirmation, with the assumption that there will be no support from Republican senators.

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