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Republicans Warn White House About Naming Ken Cuccinelli DHS Head

Ken Cuccinelli is a favorite of Donald Trump and was named by the President to serve as the acting head of US Citizenship and Immigration Services. He holds the acting tag, though, because there was very little chance that he’d have enough Republican support in a Senate confirmation.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Donald Trump is eager to find a new lead for the Department of Homeland Security following Kevin McAleenan’s departure. There was some thought that the President could attempt to push Cuccinelli into the position without a senate vote. Today, a number of Republican lawmakers urged Trump not to attempt that type of maneuver.

Texas senator John Cornyn told reporters, “The White House would be well advised to consult with the Senate and senators before they take any decisive action that might be embarrassing to Mr. Cuccinelli or to the White House itself.

Chuck Grassley, from Iowa had a similar message, “There’s some opposition to Senate confirmation. I have not heard anything about some go-around. But it’s my understanding that the existing law would not permit him to” lead the organization. “I don’t know how you get around that. I don’t think it’s possible because of what the law says, not because of anything else.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly not a fan of Cuccinelli and may also oppose his nomination. In June, he said that there was “a lack of enthusiasm” over the acting USICS head. When asked again on Wednesday, the Kentucky senator said, “I don’t think I have anything to add to what I said about that earlier.”