Republican Sen. Ben Sasse officially resigns, opening appointment to fill office

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Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump, officially resigned from the Senate on Sunday as he prepares to return to academia as president of the University of Florida.

Sasse, who led Midland University, a small private group in his home state, before running for the Senate, tendered his resignation last month saying he would leave office on January 8, two years into his second term.

In parting remarks Last week, Sasse criticized the body of which he had been a member since 2015, saying: «This institution is not working very well at the moment.»

«Each of us knows that we should look in the mirror and recognize that lives lived in a politicized echo chamber are not worthy of a place that calls itself a deliberative body, let alone the largest deliberative body in the world.» , said.

«When we’re honest with each other, which usually means that on one of the rare occasions when the cameras aren’t around, we all know that a lot of the performative screaming that goes on here and in every courtroom is simply about being reserved for even more performative screaming at night on TV,” he said.

Sasse’s departure opens the job to an appointment by Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen, a Republican. The previous governor, Republican Pete Ricketts, has said he would seek the nomination.

As a senator, Sasse was a China conservative hawk who backed the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and voiced opposition to same-sex marriage, having abstained from voting in November on landmark legislation codifying rights. of gay marriage. He served in the administration of President George W. Bush as assistant secretary for health and human services and was first elected to the Senate in 2014.

NBC News reported last year that he was expected to take a job running the University of Florida. The university’s Board of Trustees approved Sasse as the school’s next president despite vocal opposition from some faculty and students.

Sasse frequently voiced his grievances with Trump, as well as with his supporters in the Republican Party. When Trump ran for re-election in 2020, Sasse chided him, saying he “kisses dictators’ butts,” “flirts with white supremacists,” belittles women, “mocks evangelicals behind closed doors” and “ He treats the presidency as a business opportunity.” ”

Sasse was one of seven Republicans who voted to impeach Trump a second time after the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill. He blamed Trump for intimidating election officials and repeatedly pushing unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

“Those lies had consequences, endangering the life of the vice president and bringing us perilously close to a bloody constitutional crisis,” Sasse said at the time. «Each of these actions are violations of a president’s oath of office.»

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