LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – More than six months after being nominated by President Joe Biden, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday voted to move forward with the nomination of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to be U.S. ambassador to India.
However, the nomination now must go to the full Senate, which will vote at a later date on whether to confirm Garcetti.
Garcetti did attending Wednesday's proceedings in Washington, D.C.
The mayor was nominated to be India's ambassador by President Joe Biden back in July. Garcetti also served as a national co-chair of Biden's presidential campaign.
During his appearance before the committee on Dec. 14, Garcetti defended himself again against allegations he knew about sexual harassment allegedly committed against employees in his office by his longtime senior adviser Rick Jacobs.
"I want to say unequivocally that I never witnessed, nor was it brought to my attention, that behavior that has been alleged," Garcetti said. "And I also want to assure you that if it had been, I would have immediately taken action to stop that."
Jacobs served as Garcetti's deputy chief of staff from 2013 to 2016. According to a report in New York Magazine, Garcetti had been aware for years of the allegations of inappropriate behavior against Jacobs.
Meanwhile, Garcetti said that he first traveled to India with his parents as a teenager, then again in 1990 as a guest of Ambassador William Clark Jr., whose son was Garcetti's college roommate. He said the trip inspired him to study Hindi and Urdu in college, as well as Indian and Cultural Religious History.
"Today the fundamental nature of that strategic partnership is firmly ingrained here in Washington and in New Delhi," the mayor said. "If confirmed, I will endeavor to advance our ambitious bilateral partnership united by a free and open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
Garcetti is in his final year as mayor, because he is unable to run again due to term limits. He is scheduled to leave office in December, unless he leaves earlier for the ambassador post.
If Garcetti is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Council President Nury Martinez would become acting mayor until an interim mayor is appointed by the council or one is chosen by special election.
The council is unlikely to schedule a special election, since the mayoral primary is already set for June.
(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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