Sasse said he and his wife had been “pursued by wonderful institutions for the past two years, but we resisted being finalists. This time it’s different because the University of Florida is different: I think Florida is the most interesting university in America right now.
Sasse’s second term made a name for himself as a constant critic of Donald Trump in Congress as well as a reliable voting conservative. Despite his interest in academia, his resignation will come as a bit of a surprise after his bid for re-election in 2020 and the possibility that he could one day take on higher roles.
Sasse was one of seven GOP senators to vote to convict the former president in Trump’s second impeachment trial, following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. His resignation will create a safe GOP seat in a red state; in addition to Ricketts, Nebraska GOP Reps. Don Bacon and Mike Flood could also be on hand for the date.
Ricketts said Sasse “has one of the most conservative voting records in the Senate, and we need more conservative voices at our universities. Senator Sasse is also incredibly smart and has the experience and a demonstrated passion for the ‘Higher Education.
Regarding a possible self-nomination, Ricketts spokesman Alex Reuss said, “We’re not going to speculate at this point. Currently, Senator Sasse is a serving United States senator, and there are no appointments to be made.
Sasse has been interested in college work for some time, according to Republicans familiar with his future plans. Prior to his 2020 run, there was speculation that he would seek a vacancy to lead the University of Nebraska; before running for the Senate, he was president of the University of Midland.
In a February 2021 interview as his state party prepared to censure him for his impeachment vote (he was eventually reprimanded), Sasse spoke at length about his views on education — and how he thought the program the Democrats’ coronavirus aid package had missed the mark.
“I can’t use the word progressive I guess, but I care deeply about poverty and the fact that lower middle class people are not well served by the educational establishment, whether at the kindergarten or higher. grade level,” Sasse said. “And so you look at this package. Is it really to help poor children? Surely not.”
In recent years, he has maintained a relatively low profile in the Senate, while expressing his frustration with the chamber and politics in general. Sasse has sometimes tried to engage his colleagues in debate in the Senate and said serving on the Senate Intelligence Committee is the best part of his job.
He and his family wondered if he should even run for re-election in 2020 after his first full term in the Senate “and everyone was between 51% and 75% that we thought that was our calling. So no one was below 50-50. And yet, no one was like 95 percent.
“This institution should be much more efficient than it is. And the only part of every day that’s really effective is Intel’s work,” he said in the 2021 interview.
In one of Sasse’s most publicized moments this year, he fought with Senator Chris Murphy spoke out in March on the Connecticut Democrat’s tweet attacking Republicans for criticizing President Joe Biden’s handling of the war in Ukraine, while voting against a government spending bill that would included aid to Kyiv.
In addition to his work on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sasse worked this year with a bipartisan group of senators to reform the Voter Count Act of 1887, a response to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. He is one of the original GOP co-sponsors of the bill.
“Ben is a good, intelligent, principled person,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). conviction of having always thought about and defended the rule of law.
A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sasse recently attended the inauguration of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, despite voting against his nomination.
In a statement shortly after, Sasse said he would not attack the tribunal’s credibility and wished “more of my colleagues took a similar approach.”
“America doesn’t work when partisans try to burn down our institutions,” he said.
Some details about Sasse’s future were first reported by a former assistant, Ian Swanson, who has his own show on 1110 KFAB.