Trump has been thinking about doing an end run around a US Senate confirmation to put in charge of the Homeland Security Dept….
Republican Senate Majority Leader McConnell seems to have dug in his heels against this….
Republican senators are warning President Donald Trump that he cannot legally appoint immigration hard-liner Ken Cuccinelli to lead the Department of Homeland Security.
The White House and DHS lawyers, however, are continuing to work on a controversial end run around a federal law that prohibits Cuccinelli from serving as an acting secretary. It would likely face an immediate court challenge as well as the ire of members of his own party.
“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,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who called the attempt to fill the top role at the department without Senate confirmations a “concern.”
Cuccinelli once headed the Senate Conservatives Fund, an organization critical of the establishment GOP that ran primary campaigns against incumbents. That past has not been forgotten: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said earlier this year that he has a “lack of enthusiasm” for Cuccinelli and warned in April about nominating Cuccinelli to the permanent position.
McConnell stood by those remarks in a brief interview on Wednesday: “I don’t think I have anything to add to what I said about that earlier.”
Cuccinelli, acting head of the relatively obscure U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is one of the president’s top lieutenants because of his aggressive immigration agenda. But he is loathed by McConnell and other Republicans to the point that he probably could not be confirmed for a permanent job…..