“I regret the harsh rhetoric that I have used at times in the last several years. I can pledge to you today that if I am confirmed, you won’t be hearing that kind of rhetoric for me,” Gupta told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during her confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
Senator Chuck Grassley, the panel’s top Republican, said that while Gupta, has performed “admirable” work in the past, her past comments about Republicans gave him concerns over whether she could fill a critical justice department position, Fox News reported.
Top Republican Senator Ted Cruz also accused her of being an extreme partisan advocate. “As I look at your record on every single issue, the positions you’ve advocated for are on the extreme left, and you’ve demonstrated an intolerance for and hostility to anyone that disagrees with the extreme left political positions,” Cruz said. Similarly sharp criticism by Republicans John Cornyn of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas reflected a Republican determination to challenge Gupta’s nomination.
Gupta told lawmakers that it will be the honour of her lifetime to assume the associate attorney general’s responsibility to oversee the enforcement of laws to protect the health, safety, and economic security of all Americans. “My parents are proud immigrants from India, and they believe more than anything in the promise of America. Growing up, they taught me that loving this country brings with it the obligation to do the necessary work to perfect our union. That belief is shared by my husband, whose family fled violence and war in Vietnam and sought refuge on these great shores,” Gupta said. Her parents Rajiv and Kamla Gupta, she said, were watching the hearing.
Last week, in a major setback to President Joe Biden, Indian-American Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination as director of the White House office of management and budget, after the ruling party and the administration failed to muster enough votes in the Senate to secure her confirmation. Tanden, 50, had been facing a tough time for the confirmation of her nomination over her past Twitter outbursts against several lawmakers, including those from her own Democratic Party. PTI