Senate

GOP senator: Cuccinelli couldn’t win Senate confirmation

Sen. John Cornyn (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 Trump, 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 Miller.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (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.

Tags Donald Trump John Cornyn Mitch McConnell Stephen Miller
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