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

Author: Gina Martinez / CBS
Nebraska U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse. Credit: CBS

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse has officially resigned from the Senate as he heads into his new role as president of the University of Florida. Nebraska’s Republican Governor 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 appoint him president.

Sasse has had a complicated relationship with Republicans in both nationally and in Nebraska after his outspoken criticism of former President Donald Trump. He was one of seven Republican senators to vote to convict the former president of incitement of insurrection in his second impeachment trial stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

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

“Each of us knows we should be taking a look in the mirror and acknowledging that lives lived in a politicized echo chamber are unworthy of a place that calls itself a deliberative body, let alone the world’s greatest deliberative body,” he said.

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

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