LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Five months after his nomination from President Joe Biden to be the United States Ambassador to India, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is finally due to be considered by a Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Garcetti's time in office is nearing its end in December 2022, but he could leave early should the ambassador post be made available to him. He has also hit the limit for terms in office, after winning his elections in 2013 and 2017.
"I am honored to have been nominated by President Biden to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to India, and I am grateful for the chance to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next week," Garcetti told the Los Angeles Times.
The nomination from President Biden came in July, though rumors he would be nominated began as early as May. After the nomination, Garcetti said: "I have a deep relationship with this president and I think (Biden) wanted somebody that he knew the Indians could trust that's close to him...If confirmed, it would be the honor of a lifetime… It's my own history. I studied Hindi and Urdu in college. I visited first as a teenager. I've actually stayed at the embassy, done work with the Asia Society there, so I've had a long history with India and I love the country. It is an amazing place."
Garcetti served as the national co-chair for Biden's Presidential campaign in 2020, and also served on his inauguration committee.
When he was nominated for the ambassadorship, the White House's statement referred to Garcetti's extensive list of qualifications, including: overseeing the Port of Los Angeles, the Western Hemisphere's busiest container port; the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipal utility in the country; Los Angeles International Airport, one of the busiest airports; and his time as chair of the second-busiest transit agency the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
He was also a leading force in bringing the 2028 Summer Olympic Games to the United States, along with 400 other U.S. mayors.
However, Garcetti has come under fire for several different incidents since taking office in 2013. Earlier in 2021, Black Lives Matter protestors gathered in front of his home over his record on homelessness and transportation issues. One of his advisors, Rick Jacobs, was also forced to step down amidst sexual assault allegations from a LAPD officer - an incident in which the accuser claims Garcetti was witness, but turned a blind eye. His Chief of Staff, Ana Guerrero, was also asked to step down following a string of inappropriate Facebook comments were made public.
Amongst all of this, there are also allegations that Garcetti has instituted a "mafia-like" culture of silence in the Mayor's Office, something he has avidly denied.
One of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee's Chairmen, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, noted that the committee was reviewing the lawsuit in particular.
If Garcetti was in fact confirmed by the Senate, current L.A. City Council President Jury Martinez would serve as the acting mayor or Los Angeles. Martinez would hold this position until either a special election could take place, or an interim-mayor was named.
However, according to City News Service, a special election is unlikely considering the next election is slated for July 2022.
Before assuming the role of Mayor in 2013, Garcetti served on the Los Angeles City Council for 12 years, from 2001 until 2013, he was also President of the council from 2006 to 2012.
Garcetti was a visiting instructor of international affairs for the University of Southern California and an assistant professor of diplomacy for Occidental College prior to his induction onto the L.A. City Council.
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