Biden renominates Garcetti to be U.S. ambassador to India

President Biden renominated former Mayor Eric Garcetti, shown in 2022, to be U.S. ambassador to India.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

President Biden renominated former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to be U.S. ambassador to India on Tuesday after Garcetti’s confirmation failed to advance through the U.S. Senate last year.

The White House also resubmitted nominations for roughly 60 people for jobs in key administrative posts or national security positions, as well as 25 judicial nominees who failed to win confirmation in 2022. Candidates must be renominated at the start of each new Congress.

Biden’s support for Garcetti, who was also renominated for the position last year, is notable given how long the nomination has lingered in Washington. The vacant diplomatic post comes as Biden looks to allies to help contain the rise of China and shore up support for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also host the G-20 leaders in New Delhi in September.


White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday that Garcetti is “well-qualified” for the “vital role.”

“We’re hopeful that the Senate will confirm him promptly,” Jean-Pierre said.

“I am grateful for the president’s confidence, and strong support on both sides of the aisle in the Senate,” Garcetti said. “I look forward to completing this process, so that I can begin serving in India and advancing this critical partnership as quickly as possible.”

Garcetti was announced as the White House pick for India in July 2021, but a vote on the appointment has never been scheduled following some Democratic senators’ concerns over sexual harassment allegations leveled against former Garcetti aide Rick Jacobs.

At the same time, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) has placed a hold on Garcetti’s nomination.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti had achievements on transportation, seismic safety, COVID-19 management and higher wages but failed to curb homelessness.

Dec. 9, 2022

Ernst’s fellow Iowa Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley, issued a report in May that found that the allegations of sexual harassment against Jacobs, a former deputy mayor, were “pervasive, widespread and notorious.”

The report also concluded that it was “more likely than not that Mayor Garcetti either had personal knowledge of the sexual harassment or should have been aware of it.” Jacobs has denied harassing anyone and Garcetti has said he wasn’t aware of any improper behavior.


In a speech on the Senate floor last month, Grassley urged his colleagues to vote against Garcetti’s nomination and criticized the White House.

“How hypocritical is it for this administration to encourage victims of sexual harassment to speak out, yet when they do so against a powerful ally of Joe Biden, they’re ignored,” Grassley said.

A White House spokesperson last month declined to comment on Grassley’s remarks.

Garcetti has insisted that he has backing from some Republican senators that could help him gain the necessary votes to win confirmation.

The former mayor has waited far longer for confirmation — more than 500 days — than all others whom Biden has designated to be ambassadors, according to the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service.

Libby Liu, chief executive of legal organization Whistleblower Aid, said Tuesday that renominating Garcetti “does a grave disservice to victims and survivors of workplace sexual harassment” and that Biden should put forward a new nominee. Whistleblower Aid represents Garcetti’s former communications director, who alleges that she was kissed by Jacobs, which he denies.

Biden on Tuesday also resubmitted nominations for Phil Washington to head the Federal Aviation Administration, Danny Werfel to lead the Internal Revenue Service and Gigi Sohn to serve as commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.


The White House is expected to receive approximately 175 nominees from Congress that failed to clear the upper chamber last year, according to a White House official. Biden intends to continue processing more of those nominees in the coming weeks, the official said.