The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Wednesday to advance Eric Garcetti’s candidacy to be ambassador to India.
The vote was 13-8, mostly along party lines. Two Republican Senators Todd Young of Indiana and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee voted with the Democrats to support the candidate.
The next step is for Garcetti to get a vote in the US Senate. It’s not yet clear where the votes stand, but the fact that he has two Republican votes in the committee indicates that he has some leeway to lose a handful of Democratic votes and still win the seat.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, told CNN on Thursday that she will endorse Garcetti, a sign that her nomination is gaining momentum.
Gillibrand, one of the main holdouts to the nomination, said she is confident of the Foreign Relations Committee’s review. Some other senators are still weighing the nomination, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who told CNN she hasn’t made up her mind yet.
A vote on the floor has not yet been scheduled. Time is fluid due to several absences.
Garcetti cleared the same committee hurdle last Congress, but that was before facing headwinds over a controversy from when He was mayor of Los Angeles.
CNN reported last year Concerns about the nomination centered on a former employee of Garcetti’s mayor’s office who accused him of ignoring alleged sexual harassment and intimidation by one of his former top aides. Garcetti has repeatedly denied allegations that he ignored the alleged harassment.
Naomi Seligman, a former Garcetti aide who accused the former Los Angeles mayor of ignoring credible allegations of sexual assault during his time in office, criticized Wednesday’s vote.
“Today’s vote, on International Women’s Day no less, shows a real disconnect between the rhetoric we hear from elected leaders who claim to support victims of sexual harassment in the workplace and the pass they give to party loyalists in the next breath. It’s discouraging to say the least,” Seligman said in a statement, calling the former mayor “unfit to represent our country.”
This story has been updated with additional developments.