White House is nudged to move on stalled Garcetti nomination

One of Eric Garcetti’s top advocates in the Senate said the White House needs to make a decision on the future of the Los Angeles mayor’s bid to be ambassador to India within weeks, suggesting the embattled nomination has lingered in a state of limbo too long.

“I think we should spend another week working on this, and then the White House has to make a call,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), later amending that timeline to “a couple weeks.”

Murphy, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been a strong advocate for Garcetti’s nomination and for the U.S. having a confirmed ambassador to India.

Garcetti’s nomination — announced last July — has stalled over concerns among Democratic senators over alleged sexual misconduct by Rick Jacobs, a former top Garcetti advisor, and what the mayor may have known about it. Garcetti has strongly denied knowing about Jacobs’ actions, and Jacobs has denied harassing anyone.

Murphy has tried to schedule meetings between Garcetti and the Democratic senators who have gone public with concerns about the nomination. At least one of those senators, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said the in-person meeting eliminated any worry he had over Garcetti’s nomination.

Murphy indicated he has not given up on the nomination and called it “still very much a work in progress.”

“We’ve been at this for a while,” Murphy said. “Ultimately we can’t be in limbo forever. He doesn’t deserve to be in this kind of limbo, but let’s see if we can make some progress in the next couple of weeks.”

Driving much of the effort is the importance that Murphy and other foreign policy-minded Democrats place on India, particularly in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It’s a disaster to not have an ambassador to India,” he said. “It is maybe the most pivotal country to the current crisis. If they make a choice to join the West instead of to stay linked to Russia, it has huge implications for both China and Russia.”

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