The No. 2 Senate Republican said Thursday Loretta Lynch will "likely" be confirmed as attorney general, although he hasn't yet made up his mind about how he will vote.
Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, stressed that GOP concerns remain over her independence.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, also said he hasn't decided how to vote on the nomination. But he noted there is usually a "presumption" that a president gets their nominee. Wednesday's hearing gave senators a chance to vent their frustrations with President Barack Obama . Afterward, Cornyn's fellow Texan, Sen. Ted Cruz, said Lynch's fate rested with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Cruz called Lynch's views of the Constitution, particularly in regards to Obama's executive action on immigration, "profoundly dangerous." But a senior GOP aide responded to the Cruz comments, saying they could not recall any instances of a Cabinet-level nomination being denied at least a cloture vote.
The aide also noted that forestalling Lynch’s nomination would have effect of keeping Eric H. Holder Jr. in office.
Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report. The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.