The United States Senate will vote on the nomination of Eric Garcetti as the country’s next ambassador to India on Wednesday.
Such a move by Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer came amidst a fresh round of campaigns against Garcetti by his distractors on allegations of sexual assault against one of his staffers when he was the mayor of Los Angeles.
If confirmed by the Senate, Garcetti would soon head to India as US Ambassador, a position that has remained vacant for more than two years. The confirmation vote on his nomination is scheduled at 2.15 pm local Washington time.
This would be preceded by a vote on the cloture motion on his nomination, which indicated that Schumer is confident of having enough votes to get Garcetti confirmed as the US Ambassador to India.
Garcetti’s nomination has been pending before the US Congress since July 2021, when he was nominated for the prestigious diplomatic posting by President Joe Biden.
Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, at its business meeting, had voted 13-8 in favour of his nomination.
Kenneth Juster, the last occupant of the ambassadorial residence of the US in New Delhi, stepped down in January 2021 after the change of government in America.
Ahead of the crucial confirmation vote, Mukesh Aghi, president, US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) hoped that India would finally have an ambassador.
“We are hopeful that this week or by next week, the Senate will confirm Mayor Garcetti to be the next ambassador to India,” Aghi told PTI in an interview. Responding to a question on the unusual delay of confirmation, Aghi said it is an aberration where local politics have an impact on international relationships.
“But despite not having an ambassador, what we are seeing is a strong momentum between the Biden administration and the Narendra Modi government itself,” he said.
“If you look at (US National Security Advisor) Jake Sullivan talks to (his Indian counterpart) (Ajit) Doval on a weekly basis. We have Secretary (of State) Antony Blinken talking to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on a regular basis. So, they have been able to bridge that gap,” Aghi noted.
“But I think it is important to have an ambassador because when you look at what is happening in Delhi -- the Chinese, the Russians, the Germans, they all walk in the corridor and the Americans are missing. We are hopeful that this week or by next week, the Senate will confirm Mayor Garcetti to be the next ambassador to India,” he added.