Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announced Friday that he is placing holds on seven Biden administration nominees, including prospective Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti.
Biden nominated Garcetti, the former mayor of Los Angeles, to serve as ambassador in July 2021. However, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has not yet scheduled a floor vote to confirm him amid reports that he covered up sexual harassment and assaults committed by a top aide. The aide, Rick Jacobs, was named in a lawsuit filed by a police officer, and other complainants have since come forward. (RELATED: LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Literally Gets Mommy And Daddy To Lobby Joe Biden To Give Him A Job)
“One of these nominees has ignored credible sexual assault accusations in his prior office. Another has done legal work with solar panel companies operating in Xinjiang, where egregious human rights abuses are committed. The list also contains an abortion extremist, someone with no diplomatic or investment experience, and an individual who has supported a policy of engagement with Cuba’s murderous dictatorship. I will not turn a blind eye to these absurd nominations, which will hasten America’s decline,” Rubio said in a statement.
RUBIO announces he’s placing a hold on Eric Garcetti’s nomination to be U.S. ambassador to India, joining other GOP senators.
But Rubio is notable because he’s a member of SFRC, which is voting on his nomination on Tuesday. Garcetti previously cleared the committee by voice vote
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) February 24, 2023
Rubio sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which advanced Garcetti’s nomination by voice vote in January 2022. It stalled on the floor, with Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Mark Kelly of Arizona and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, as well as now-Independent Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, expressing concern about Garcetti’s alleged knowledge of Jacobs’ activities. Republican Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst placed holds on Garcetti during the 117th Congress.
A report commissioned by Grassley found that Garcetti “more likely than not” was aware of Jacobs’ alleged sexual harassment of Los Angeles Police Department officer Matthew Garza, former Garcetti communications director Naomi Seligman, Kirra Consulting partner Alec Evans, and former deputy press secretary Anna Bahr. Jacobs admitted to some of the instances in a report submitted to the City of Los Angeles by attorney Leslie Ellis.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote Tuesday on Garcetti’s nomination.