The White House on Wednesday stood behind Eric Garcetti asserting he is qualified to serve as United States Ambassador to India, even as a Congressional committee vote on his nomination was postponed till March 8 after a Republican Senator placed a hold on his nomination.
"Eric Garcetti was voted out in a bipartisan way out of (Senate Foreign Relations committee). So, clearly, he has had bipartisan support, which is very important in this process. We encourage and look forward to the Senate moving forward with his nomination on the floor," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news conference.
Garcetti, 52, a former Mayor of Los Angeles, was nominated by President Joe Biden for US Ambassador to India in July 2021.
His nomination was not brought to the Senate floor for vote as the ruling Democratic Party did not have enough support to get him through.
Republicans and some members of his own party were opposed to his nomination because of the allegations of sexual misconduct by some of the staffers in the Mayor's Office.
Biden renominated Garcetti to the same position in January this year. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez scheduled a vote on his nomination on February 28.
However, Republican Senator Marco Rubio placed a hold on his nomination. The vote by the committee has now been postponed till March 8.
"We think that Eric Garcetti is qualified to serve this vital role. That's why the President nominated him, right? The President nominated him because he thought he had the experience to be the U.S. ambassador to India," Jean-Pierre said.
"He received bipartisan support going out of committee. And we would like to see the Senate move him forward and to continue getting that support," the Press Secretary said in response to a question.