GOP senator: Cuccinelli couldn't win Senate confirmation

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP, Democrats hash out 2020 strategy at dueling retreats Congress eyes killing controversial surveillance program Hillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 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 TrumpTrump endorses former White House physician Ronny Jackson for Congress Newly released emails reveal officials' panic over loss of credibility after Trump's Dorian claims Lindsey Graham thanks Trump, bemoans 'never-ending bull----' at South Carolina rally  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 MillerWatchdog group sues over information on Stephen Miller's involvement in 'public charge' rule Trumps tour Taj Mahal to cap off first day in India Mulvaney says US 'desperate' for legal immigrants to boost economy: report MORE.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Facebook — Washington, Wall Street on edge about coronavirus Overnight Energy: Murkowski, Manchin unveil major energy bill | Lawmakers grill EPA chief over push to slash agency's budget | GOP lawmaker accuses Trump officials of 'playing politics' over Yucca Mountain Lawmakers race to pass emergency coronavirus funding 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.