GOP senator: Cuccinelli couldn't win Senate confirmation

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges MORE (R-Texas) said on Monday that he doesn’t support Ken Cuccinelli’s appointment as acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and that Cuccinelli likely wouldn’t be able to win confirmation for the role on a permanent basis.

“He’s made a career of attacking other Republicans and frankly attacking President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE, so I doubt he’ll have the support to get confirmed,” Cornyn said.

Asked if he supported Cuccinelli atop the immigration agency, Cornyn said no.

Cuccinelli began his new job as acting director of USCIS on Monday, a controversial move that came despite opposition among Senate Republicans to giving the former Senate Conservatives Fund leader a Senate-confirmed position.

The White House has not formally nominated him as director. He can remain in the acting position for 210 days.

Cuccinelli, however, could face a rocky road to confirmation should Trump nominate him to lead USCIS on a permanent basis.

Cuccinelli is replacing Lee Francis Cissna, who was forced out as USCIS chief late last month amid a shake-up at the department that was engineered by top White House policy adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerThe White House and schools have this in common: Asbestos The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Top immigration aide experienced 'jolt of electricity to my soul' when Trump announced campaign MORE.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' Pelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence MORE (R-Ky.) has long opposed the former Virginia attorney general, who worked in 2014 to oust McConnell.

"I've not spoken to him about any of them. I have expressed my, shall I say, lack of enthusiasm for one of them … Ken Cuccinelli," McConnell told reporters in April.

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority, meaning Cuccinelli would have to lose four GOP senators and win over no Democrats to not be confirmed.