GOP Sen. Ben Sasse fired back at President Trump on Monday for claiming he has “gone rogue” after casting his executive actions over the weekend as unconstitutional.
“Mr. President -- I understand that you’re mad. A few thoughts,” Sasse, of Nebraska, tweeted from his campaign’s account Monday, along with an image of a point-by-point rebuttal to the president’s tweets early Monday. “As we’ve discussed before, I don’t think Twitter is the best place to do this. But, since you moved our conversation from private to public, here we are…”
Sasse went on to say he understands that Trump has “been frustrated” that he “didn’t join your re-election committee & that I ran a primary ad admitting to Nebraskans that we sometimes agree and sometimes disagree.”
“You also know I never asked for your endorsement, nor did I use it in the campaign,” Sasse said, adding that “none of my disagreements are personal,” and that “from our many conversations, even in the last few weeks—that I care about you personally and have tried to help you repeatedly, even on issues where our prudential judgements [sic] differ widely.”
Sasse also went on to say that he never asked the president personal favors.
“I have pleaded with you but for bigger things like better U.S. policy on the Chinese Communist Party —and on this, you’ve done a very good job,” Sasse said.
He also gave the president a quick civics lesson.
“Now, on the topic that had you mad [sic] this weekend: No president — whether named Obama or Trump or Biden or AOC — has unilateral power to rewrite immigration law or to cut taxes or to raise taxes.”
And the senator broke down the most basic elements of the national system of checks and balances.
“This is because America doesn’t have kings,” Sasse said. “Under our Constitution, we’re supposed to have public servants—Article I folks who pass laws; an Article II ‘presiding officer’ who executes those laws; and Article III judges who have to put on boring black robes to remind them that they are not activist players like the folks in Articles I or II.”
The note was signed: “Sincerely yours, Gym Rat.”
Sasse’s sign-off referenced a 2016 Trump tweet, where he stated that Sasse “looks more like a gym rat than a U.S. Senator.”
Sasse’s rebuttal came after the president called the Nebraska senator a “RINO,” or a “Republican In Name Only,” on Monday morning after Sasse criticized the president's moves to sign coronavirus-related executive actions over the weekend. Sasse called the orders an “unconstitutional slop.”
"RINO Ben Sasse, who needed my support and endorsement in order to get the Republican nomination for Senate from the GREAT State of Nebraska, has, now that he’s got it (Thank you President T), gone rogue, again," Trump tweeted.“This foolishness plays right into the hands of the Radical Left Dems!”
Trump, over the weekend, signed executive actions in an attempt to break the stalemate in negotiations between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill over the fourth coronavirus stimulus relief package.
The executive actions included $400 per week in supplemental unemployment aid — a replacement of the program passed under the CARES Act earlier this year that gave unemployed people $600 a week extra until the federal program expired at the end of July.
The action would require states to pay for 25 percent of the $400 weekly benefit, while the federal government would pick up 75 percent.
The $400 payment to unemployed Americans came as Republicans on Capitol Hill argued that the initial unemployment insurance program disincentivized Americans to get back to work, with many collecting more money unemployed than employed. Republicans pushed for the program to be reduced to $200 per week, while Democrats argued the program should be renewed at the original $600 a week.
The president also signed executive actions that would encourage federal efforts to help renters and homeowners avoid eviction or foreclosure for failing to make their monthly payments; defer the payroll tax from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, for employees making $100,000 or less a year; and suspend federal student loan payments and set interest rates to 0% through Dec. 31, 2020 — the current student loan relief program was set to expire on Sept. 30.
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday defended the president’s actions, citing U.S. code and federal statutes to support her claim.
"What we are doing is entirely within the executive capacity of the president," McEnany said Monday.