Ben Sasse responded to Donald Trump on Twitter Monday explaining ‘none of my disagreements are personal’ after the president was insulted the Republican senator called his executive orders ‘unconstitutional slop.’
‘Mr. President- I understand that you’re mad,’ Sasse wrote in a tweet from his campaign account Monday afternoon, adding ‘a few thoughts’ in an image of an iPhone note, which included five points.
The public Twitter note insisting ‘American doesn’t have kings’ came after Donald Trump on Monday responded to Sasse’s initial statement on his unilateral orders on economic policy, claiming the Republican had gone ‘rogue.’
The Nebraska lawmaker insisted later in the day Monday that he wanted to keep correspondence with the president off of social media and discuss any disagreements directly.
‘As we’ve discussed before, I don’t think Twitter is the best place to do this,’ Sasse said in his first point in the note. ‘But, since you moved our conversation from private to public, here we are.’
Sasse also claimed in a second point that Trump is holding a grudge because he did not agree to join the president’s reelection campaign committee and ran an ad admitting the two often butt heads over political issues.
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse shot back at Donald Trump in a statement on Monday claiming ‘I don’t think Twitter is the best place to do this’
The Republican senator’s statement, written in iPhone notes, touched on five different points, including claiming ‘America doesn’t have kings’ and singing it ‘Gym Rat’
The back-and-forth started when Sasse called on Saturday the president’s four new executive orders on economic policy related to coronavirus relief ‘unconstitutional slop’
Donald Trump lashed out against Sasse on Monday for ‘going rogue’ as he slammed him for being a ‘Republican In Name Only’ or ‘RINO’
‘President Trump does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law,’ Sasse wrote in a statement Saturday. ‘Under the Constitution, that power belongs to the American people acting through their members of Congress’
‘I never asked for your endorsement nor did I use it in my campaign,’ Sasse tweeted along with a video of a campaign ad that ran in May 2020.
The ad highlights a time when Trump tweeted in January 2016: ‘@BenSasse looks more like a gym rat than a U.S. Senator. How the hell did he ever get elected?’
‘Ben’s been good as his word,’ the one-minute ad says in a voice over. ‘He speaks his mind – might even tick you off a time or two.’
‘He’s ticked off a lot of folks these last six years,’ it continues. ‘From the radical left to, every now and then, even the president, from his own party. Here’s the deal – Ben’s got guts.’
Sasse has represented Nebraska in the U.S. Senate for one term and is up for a noncompetitive reelection in November in the deep red state.
‘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 said of Sasse in a tweet Monday morning.
‘This foolishness plays right into the hands of the Radical Left Dems!’ the president continued.
In September 2019, Trump issued an endorsement that Sasse said he did not need to win his primary election in Nebraska.
‘Senator Ben Sasse has done a wonderful job representing the people of Nebraska,’ Trump tweeted last fall. ‘He is great with our Vets, the Military, and your very important Second Amendment. Strong on Crime and the Border, Ben has my Complete and Total Endorsement!’
Sasse won the Republican primary against his sole competitor Matt Innis with 75.1 per cent of the vote.
He also said in his note directed to Trump Monday that he has ‘never asked you for anything personal.’
A few years before issuing the endorsement, Trump tweeted in 2016, ‘The great State of Nebraska can do much better than @BenSasse as your Senator.’
Sasse continued his explanation to Trump of his original statements in his fifth and final point.
‘No president – whether named Obama or Trump or Biden or AOC – has unilateral power to rewrite immigration law or to cut taxes or raise taxes. This is because America doesn’t have kings,’ Sasse wrote.
Sasse concluded the note with: ‘Happy to move the conversation back to a private channel if you’re interested. Sincerely yours, Gym Rat.’
He initially spoke out against the president on Saturday after he signed four executive orders aimed at providing relief in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic after negotiations on Capitol Hill collapsed last week.
‘Then pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop,’ Sasse wrote in a statement posted to his website Saturday.
‘President Trump does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law,’ he insisted . ‘Under the Constitution, that power belongs to the American people acting through their members of Congress.’
Sasse is a member of the Judiciary and Finance Committees.
Other Republican senators have issued praise for Trump signing the orders.
The president thanked Republican Senator Bill Cassidy on Monday for his statement in support of the executive action.
In January 2016, Trump bashed Sasse for looking like a ‘gym rat,’ a phrase in which the senator used to sign off on his Monday note to the president
Trump also said in 2016 that ‘Nebraska can do much better than Ben Sasse as your Senator’
‘Thank you to Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana for his very smart words on the just signed Executive Orders!’ Trump posted to Twitter Monday.
Cassidy wrote in a statement Saturday that the president is ‘doing what Nancy Pelosi won’t do: provide direct aid to Americans who need it.’
He claimed in his statement that Pelosi ‘refuses’ to compromised with Republicans.
Some of Trump’s other GOP allies issued much less harsh criticism of the president, claiming they would prefer that Congress be the entity to take action in providing a legislative compromise on economic stimulus and relief.
‘I appreciate the President taking this decisive action,’ South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted Saturday, adding, ‘but would much prefer a congressional agreement,’
‘I believe President Trump would prefer the same,’ the Senate Judiciary Chairman continued.
One of Trump’s biggest Capitol Hill allies and frequent golf buddy also wrote the executive orders were a good move from the president.
‘Great decision by President @realDonaldTrump to use executive orders to continue the federal unemployment supplement at the $400 level,’ Graham tweeted.
He also tweeted Monday a thanks toward Republican Senator Bill Cassidy
The Louisiana Republican said in a statement Saturday that President Trump was able achieve what Democrats can’t with executive orders in ‘providing direct aid to Americans who need it’ through the action
President Donald Trump took unilateral action Saturday after Capitol Hill negotiations on another coronavirus stimulus package collapsed last week. He signed four different executive orders, all aimed at economic relief
Senator Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s biggest Capitol Hill allies, also said he would ‘much prefer a congressional agreement’ over presidential orders, but praised the president for his ‘decisive action’
Republican Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander shared the same sentiment.
‘Pres. @realDonaldTrump is doing all he can to help workers, students & renters, but Congress is the one who should be acting,’ Alexander tweeted Saturday.
‘Democrats should stop blocking common sense proposals to help students going back to school & college & parents going back to work who need child care,’ he said.
Trump signed four executive orders Saturday afternoon while at his Bedminster golf club, which he said during a press conference there are related to ‘China virus relief.’
The actions include suspending payroll taxes for those making less than $96,000, extending expired unemployment benefits to a $400-per-week boost, putting a memorandum on evictions and deferring student loan payments.
Lawmakers were trying to achieve some of these same actions in another sweeping coronavirus relief package, but negotiations collapsed last week.
The signage came hours after the White House signaled Washington’s gridlock had compelled the president to act as the pandemic continues to ravage the country’s economy just months before the November election.
Independent Representative Justin Amash said Saturday that Trump is acting against the Constitution by taking unilateral action.
‘Our Constitution doesn’t authorize the president to act as king whenever Congress doesn’t legislate,’ the Republican-turned-Libertarian Michigan congressman tweeted.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer bashed the executive orders as ‘weak and narrow’ in a Saturday statement, demanding that more still needs to be done.
‘The president’s meager, weak, and unconstitutional actions further demand that we have an agreement and any constitutional question issue is a separate issue,’ Pelosi reiterated during an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.
It is still unclear if the executive orders will take effect as Trump signaled during his press conference Saturday that he will likely face legal action over the measures.
The sweeping moves raised legal questions about the president’s authority to take such steps, as Congress has the sole power to tax and appropriate funds. However, the orders claim powers under the national emergency declared in March in response to the pandemic.
Trump first announced an order that would allow employers to defer payroll tax through the end of the year.
The second order included a freeze on evictions that will allow hard-hit renters to remain in their homes even if they can’t afford payments.
A third order, perhaps the most crucial, will extend the unemployment benefits that have run out, offering people an additional $400 per week – down from the $600 that was part of the relief package that expired this month.
‘It’s $400 a week, and we’re doing it without the Democrats,’ Trump said, asking states to cover 25 percent of the cost. It was not immediately clear where the federal portion would come from – though the president suggested he was looking to use unspent funds from previous coronavirus relief bills – and Trump said it would be up to states to determine how much, if any of it to fund.
Trump remarked that there should never have been an issue in coming to a benefits deal with Democrats, who had wanted to renew the original $600 a week.
Republicans originally proposed $200 a week and then upped their offer to $400, but Democrats still said it wasn’t enough. This was one of the major areas of difference that held up getting a legislative deal.
The fourth and final order will extend the suspension of student loan payments through the end of the year.
Democrats are largely critical of the executive orders, claiming it won’t do enough to address issues Americans are facing.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it on Sunday ‘faulty and unworkable,’ and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the orders were signed to create an ‘illusion’ of helping Americans.
But top economic adviser Larry Kudlow defended the move to ABC News on Sunday morning, claiming it ‘provides significant economic assistance.’
Up until now, Trump has largely stayed on the sidelines during his administration’s negotiations with congressional leaders. The talks, which broke down in recent days, were led on his side by chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
Democrats had said they would lower their spending demands from $3.4 trillion to $2 trillion but said the White House needed to increase their offer. Republicans have proposed a $1 trillion plan.
White House aides have watched the talks break down with apprehension, fearful that failure to close a deal could further damage an economic recovery already showing signs of slowing down.
The aides are trying to frame the executive orders signings as a sign that Trump was taking action in a time of crisis.
Trump has not specified how the payroll tax deferral would work, and it was unclear whether he had the authority to take such an action without approval from Congress.
The move would not aid unemployed workers, who do not pay the tax when they are jobless, and would face bipartisan opposition in Congress.
The cut, long a Trump wish, would affect payroll taxes that are intended to cover Medicare and Social Security benefits and take 7 percent of an employee’s income. Employers also pay 7.65 percent of their payrolls into the funds.
Friday’s negotiations at the Capitol added up to only ‘a disappointing meeting,’ said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
Pelosi and Schumer continue to insist on a huge aid package to address a surge in cases and deaths, double-digit joblessness and the threat of poverty for millions of the newly unemployed.
Senate Republicans have been split, with roughly half of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rank and file opposed to another rescue bill at all.
Four prior coronavirus response bills totaling almost $3trillion have won approval on bipartisan votes despite intense wrangling, but conservatives have recoiled at the prospect of another Pelosi-brokered agreement with a whopping deficit-financed cost.
McConnell has kept his distance from the negotiations while coordinating with Mnuchin and Meadows.