GOP senator: Cuccinelli couldn't win Senate confirmation

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenators push foreign media to disclose if they are registered as foreign agents GOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday New legislation required to secure US semiconductor leadership 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 TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address 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.

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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 MillerIn DACA ruling, Supreme Court ignores Trump's racial bias The Memo: Trump's Tulsa decision sparks new race controversy George Conway group targets Trump over 'blatant racism' in new ad MORE.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPublic awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Democrats: A moment in history, use it wisely 'Comrade' Trump gets 'endorsement' from Putin in new mock ad by Lincoln Project 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.