Ben Sasse officially resigns from the Senate to become president of the University of Florida

Republican Senator Ben Sasse has officially retired from the Senate as he enters his new role as president of the University of Florida. Nebraska Republican Gov. Jim Pillen will appoint someone to fill Sasse’s vacant seat.

Sasse is leaving the Senate just two years into his second term after the University of Florida Board of Trustees voted unanimously in November to name him president.

Sasse has had one complicated relationship with Republicans both nationally and in Nebraska after his outspoken criticism of former President Donald Trump. He was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict the former president of sedition in his second impeachment trial stemming from January 6, 2021, attack on the US capitol.

In his Senate farewell speech last week, Sasse was critical of the Senate, saying the body was becoming “increasingly irrelevant” because senators pander to “social media bullies, advocacy groups, small-dollar donors and cable hosts.”

Sasse Farewell Speech

Americans are unique. You can come from anywhere in the world and be one with us, wild and wonderful and unlike any other country the world has ever known, we are equally characterized by a spirit of association and a spirit of enterprise. Americans have the audacity to be optimistic even when things are bleak. We’re brash and loud and reckless, a little crazy, to be honest, but it’s a special force. We’re the kind of people you want with you when things go sideways. We are the kind of people the world wants with it. When things go sideways, the kind of people who get the job done and keep our word. It is who we are as Americans, far before the less important question of our political debate preferences, and what color party jersey we wear. That is who we are as American pluralists.

Posted by Senator Ben Sasse on Wednesday, January 4, 2023

“All of us know that we should take a look in the mirror and recognize that lives lived in a politicized echo chamber are unworthy of a place that calls itself a deliberative body, let alone the world’s largest deliberative body,” he said.

“When we’re honest with each other, which usually means on one of the very rare occasions when cameras aren’t present, we all know that a large part of the performative yelling that goes on here and in every hearing room is just about getting booked for yet more performative shouting at night on TV,” Sasse added.

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