Ben Sasse Article

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Ben Sasse
Ben Sasse official portrait.jpg
United States Senator
from Nebraska
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Serving with Deb Fischer
Preceded by Mike Johanns
15th President of Midland University
In office
December 10, 2010 – December 31, 2014
Preceded byStephen Fritz
Succeeded byJody Horner
Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation
In office
December 19, 2007 – January 20, 2009
President George W. Bush
Preceded byMichael O'Grady
Succeeded bySherry Glied
Personal details
Born
Benjamin Eric Sasse

(1972-02-22) February 22, 1972 (age 46)
Plainview, Nebraska, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)Melissa McLeod
Children3
Education Harvard University ( BA)
St. John's College, Maryland
( MA)
Yale University ( MA, MPhil, PhD)
Website Senate website

Benjamin Eric Sasse ( /ˈsæs/ SASS; [1] born February 22, 1972) is an American politician, author, professor, consultant, and educational administrator from the U.S. state of Nebraska. In 2014, he was elected to a seat in the U.S. Senate. Sasse is a member of the Republican Party.

Born in Plainview, Nebraska, Sasse earned a doctorate in American history from Yale University. He taught at the University of Texas and served as an Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [2] In 2010, he was named president of Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska. In 2014, he successfully ran for a vacant seat in the U.S. Senate, defeating Democratic Party nominee David Domina by a margin of 65% to 31%. [3]

Early life

Sasse was born on February 22, 1972, in Plainview, Nebraska, the son of Gary Lynn Sasse, a high school teacher and football coach, and Linda Sasse. [4] He graduated from Fremont Senior High School, Fremont, Nebraska in 1990 [5] and was valedictorian of his class. [6]

Sasse graduated from Harvard University in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in government. He also studied at the University of Oxford during the fall of 1992 on a junior year abroad program. [5] In 1998, Sasse obtained a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from the Graduate Institute at St. John's College. He also obtained Master of Arts, Master of Philosophy, and Ph.D degrees in history from Yale University. Sasse's doctoral dissertation, "The Anti- Madalyn Majority: Secular Left, Religious Right, and the Rise of Reagan's America", won the Theron Rockwell Field [7] and George Washington Egleston [8] Prizes. [5] [9]

Early career

From September 1994 to November 1995, Sasse worked as an associate consultant at the management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group. For the next year, he served as consultant/executive director for Christians United For Reformation (CURE). [5] During his tenure, CURE merged with the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (ACE), and Sasse became executive director of ACE in Anaheim, California. [10]

From January 2004 to January 2005, Sasse served as chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy in Washington, D.C. and as a part-time assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, commuting to Austin to teach. Sasse left the Department of Justice to serve as chief of staff to Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebr.) from January 2005 to July 2005. [5]

Sasse then advised the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., on national security issues from July to September 2005 as a consultant. He moved to Austin, Texas, to resume his professorship full-time from September 2005 to December 2006. [5]

From December 2006 to December 2007, Sasse served as counselor to the secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, D.C., where he advised the secretary on a broad spectrum of health policy issues, from healthcare access to food safety and security. [11]

In July 2007, Sasse was nominated by President George W. Bush to the post of assistant secretary for planning and evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [12] [13] His appointment was confirmed by the Senate in December 2007 [14] and he served until the end of the Bush administration, in January 2009. During his tenure at HHS, Sasse took an unpaid leave from the University of Texas. [5]

During 2009, Sasse advised private equity clients and health care investors and taught at the University of Texas. [15] [16] In October 2009, he officially joined the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs' Center for Politics and Governance as a fellow, before being appointed president of Midland University. [17]

Midland University

Sasse was announced as the 15th president of Midland Lutheran College (now Midland University) in October 2009. At age 37, he was one of the youngest chief executives in American higher education when he took over leadership of the 128-year-old institution in the spring of 2010. Sasse's grandfather, Elmer Sasse, worked for Midland for 33 years, mainly as vice president of finance. [18] The school was experiencing financial and academic difficulties; Sasse has been credited with "turn(ing) it around," rebranding "Midland Lutheran College" as Midland University, instituting new policies (including spot quizzes and class attendance), and "prodigious fundraising." [19] [20]

Sasse was officially installed as president on December 10, 2010. [21] When he was appointed, enrollment was at a historic low and the college was "on the verge of bankruptcy." [18] [22] During his tenure as president, enrollment grew from 590 to 1,300 students. [18] [23] When nearby Dana College was forced to close, Sasse managed to hire much of the faculty and enable most of the students to transfer to Midland. [23]

When Sasse announced his intention to run for U.S. Senate, he offered to resign his post at Midland. Instead, the Board asked him to stay at Midland under a partial leave of absence; [24] in October 2013, his employment contract was amended to reduce his remuneration. [25] Sasse stepped down as president of Midland on December 31, 2014. [26]

U.S. Senate

2014 election

In October 2013, Sasse announced his candidacy for the United States Senate seat occupied by Republican Mike Johanns, who was not running for reelection. [27] As of October 2013, his fundraising total of nearly $815,000 from individual donors in his first quarter broke Nebraska's previous record of $526,000 from individual donors, set in 2007 by Johanns while he was the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. [28]

Upon announcing his candidacy, Sasse expressed strong opposition to the Affordable Care Act. His primary opponent, Shane Osborn, questioned the depth of Sasse's opposition to the ACA, publicizing articles and speeches Sasse delivered during and after the act's passage through Congress; according to the Omaha World-Herald, "Osborn's campaign appears intent on questioning whether Sasse is a true conservative." [29] The Osborn campaign cited, among other pieces, a 2009 Bloomberg Businessweek column titled "Health-Care Reform: The Rush to Pass a Bad Bill", stating that "There's an emerging consensus that this [an individual mandate] might be a good idea", [30] and a 2010 speech in which Sasse said Republicans would probably lack the votes to repeal the ACA, stating that "a middle-class entitlement has never been repealed", and opining that Republicans had failed to offer a viable alternative, preferring to stage "symbolic repeal votes". [31] Sasse's response to the Osborn campaign's assertions was that in his articles and speeches, he was describing the political landscape rather than giving his own opinions on the merits of the ACA's provisions; to a World-Herald reporter, he declared, "I have never changed my position on thinking Obamacare is a bad idea". [29]

On May 13, 2014, Sasse won 92 of 93 counties [32] and secured the Republican nomination with 109,829 votes, or 49.4% of all votes cast; banker Sid Dinsdale came in second, with 49,829 votes (22.4%), followed by Osborn, with 46,850 votes (21.1%). [33]

On November 4, 2014, Sasse won the general election for the U.S. Senate, defeating Democratic nominee David Domina with 64.4% of the vote to Domina's 31.5%. [34]

Tenure

Sasse assumed office as a United States senator on January 3, 2015. He was officially sworn in when the 114th Congress convened on January 6, 2015.

Committees

Sasse has been appointed to serve on the following committees in the 115th Congress: [35]

Political positions

Abortion

Sasse's campaign website indicated that he was pro-life, stating "even one abortion is too many". [36]

Donald Trump

In early 2016, during both parties' presidential primary election seasons, Sasse announced that he would not support Republican front-runner Donald Trump should Trump become the party's nominee; he was the first sitting senator to make such an announcement. [37] Sasse questioned Trump's commitment to the U.S. Constitution, in particular accusing him of attacking the First Amendment; stated that Trump had refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan; and suggested that Trump "thinks he's running for King". [38] He stated that if Trump won the party's nomination, then he would vote neither for him nor for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, but would probably "look for some third candidate—a conservative option, a Constitutionalist". [38] He did not say that he would leave the party if Trump was nominated. [39]

Trump, asked about Sasse's third-party suggestion, replied, "That would be the work of a loser." [39] Several Nebraska Republican politicians, among them state senators Bob Krist and Beau McCoy and U.S. senator Deb Fischer, took exception to Sasse's statements. Krist described them as "very immature" and declared that Sasse should "quietly and in a statesmanlike manner allow the system to work out and provide the leadership that needs to be provided"; Fischer said that voting for a third-party alternative would essentially guarantee a Clinton victory. [40]

Sasse has described Trump as a "'megalomaniac strongman,'" has "called the president’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports 'dumb,' and has described Trump’s escalating trade war with China [as] 'nuts.'" [41]

In March 2018, Sasse criticized Trump for congratulating Vladimir Putin on his election win, [42] saying, "The president of the United States was wrong to congratulate him, and the White House press secretary was wrong to duck a simple question about whether or not Putin's reelection was free and fair. It was not. The American people know that, the Russian people know that and the world knows that. The White House refused to speak directly and clearly about this matter; we were weakened as a nation and a tyrant was strengthened." [42]

In July 2018, Politico reported that Sasse had "quietly launched a new political non-profit group, fueling speculation that he might launch a Hail Mary bid for president rather than seek another term in the Senate." However, Politico also reported that Sasse and the President have been talking multiple times each month. [43] Sasse has not ruled out a 2020 presidential bid. [44] [45]

Environment

Sasse has criticized what he refers to as "alarmism" over climate change and has said, "you don’t hear a lot of people who put climate as a No. 1 issue... offering constructive, innovative solutions for the future." [46] He has stated that "innovation" is the solution to climate change. [47]

Guns

In Sasse's Senate run in 2014, he received an "AQ" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA). According to the NRA's press release, the rating was the most favorable that could be given to a candidate who had no voting record on gun-related issues. The NRA endorsed Sasse in the race. [48]

Health care

In announcing his Senate candidacy, Sasse expressed strong opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, a.k.a. "Obamacare"), describing himself as "the anti-Obamacare candidate" [49] and later declaring that "[i]f it lives, America as we know it will die." [27] In the Senate, Sasse continued to support repeal of the ACA. In 2017, with Republicans unable to develop a repeal-and-replace plan that could secure a majority in the Senate, Sasse proposed an immediate repeal with a one-year delay in implementation, and called on the Senate to give up its August recess to allow it to work on a replacement measure. [50]

In 2016, Sasse was the only senator from either party to vote against the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was intended to address abuse of heroin and opioid drugs by providing funds to the states for treatment and prevention programs and by making the anti-overdose drug naloxone more widely available to first responders and law enforcement agencies. Sasse said he was "distressed by opioid abuse" but questioned whether drug treatment should be addressed at the federal level. [51]

LGBT issues

in 2014, Sasse's campaign website did not refer explicitly to same-sex marriage, but stated, "Ben believes marriage is between one man & one woman". [52]

Spending

In September 2018, Sasse, five other Republican senators ( Jeff Flake, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, David Perdue, and Pat Toomey), and Bernie Sanders voted against a $854 billion spending bill meant to avoid a government shutdown. The bill included funding for the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor and Education. [53]

Books

Sasse is the author of The Vanishing American Adult (2017) [54] and Them: Why We Hate Each Other - and How to Heal (2018) ASIN  B07BN4W5GY

Sasse also co-edited the book Here We Stand!: A Call from Confessing Evangelicals for a Modern Reformation with theologian James Montgomery Boice. [55]

Personal life

Sasse and his wife, Melissa (née McLeod) Sasse, live in Fremont, Nebraska, with their three children. The children are homeschooled. [56] [57]

Sasse was raised a Lutheran and baptized in the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. [56] As an undergraduate in the early 1990s, he encountered the teachings of W. Robert Godfrey at the Bolton Conference. Sasse identifies this as the time when he and his wife first began to embrace the "reformed faith". [58] He later became an elder in the United Reformed Churches in North America and served on the board of trustees for Westminster Seminary California. [59] He is a member of Grace Church, a Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) congregation, in Fremont. [60]

References

  1. ^ Walton, Don. "Ben Sasse: Getting to know you". Lincoln Journal Star. June 10, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-22.
  2. ^ https://www.congress.gov/nomination/110th-congress/809?q=%7B"search"%3A%5B"Michael+O%27Grady"%5D%7D&r=3
  3. ^ "National election results 2014". Washington Post. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  4. ^ Mirza, Anzish. "10 Things You Didn't Know About Ben Sasse". U.S. News & World Report. April 24, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Sasse, Benjamin, "Biographical Information" Appendix to Hearing re Nomination of Dr. Benjamin Sasse, pp. 78–84. U.S. House. Committee on the Finance. Washington: Government Printing Office; retrieved January 11, 2014.
  6. ^ Roth, Zachary. "Ben Sasse, GOP senator, leads #NeverTrump movement". MSNBC. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  7. ^ "Theron Rockwell Field and the John Addison Porter prize competitions". Yale University. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  8. ^ "George Washington Egleston (1901)". Yale University. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  9. ^ "Dissertations By Year", Yale.edu; retrieved January 11, 2014.
  10. ^ Maruina, Todd, "Conference of Top Evangelical Leaders Calls Evangelical Movement to Repentance for Liberal Theological Drifts". United Reformed News Service, May 21, 2006; retrieved January 12, 2014.
  11. ^ Woodbury, Anne, ed. (2015). "The 114th Congress Freshman Healthbook 2015 - A Guide to Congress' New Healthcare Policy Makers" (PDF). TogoRun. Washington, D.C., USA. p. 9. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
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  13. ^ "Personnel Announcement", White House archives; retrieved January 12, 2014.
  14. ^ "Report on the Activities of the Committee on Finance During the 110th Congress". Committee Report 13 of 50, Senate Report 111-013. United States Senate; retrieved January 12, 2014.
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  16. ^ Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) & Benjamin Sasse, "Do Healthcare Reformers Fear A Reading Public?", Forbes.com; retrieved January 11, 2011.
  17. ^ "LBJ School of Public Affairs Professor Ben Sasse Joins Center for Politics and Governance As Fellow". University of Texas; retrieved January 12, 2014.
  18. ^ a b c Ricker, Steven (May 22, 2014). "Sasse to resign from Midland at year's end". Fremont Tribune. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  19. ^ Hampson, Rick (June 7, 2016). "Ben Sasse, the Senate GOP's 'Never Trumper,' irks some voters at home". USA Today. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  20. ^ Buffington, Tracy (January 3, 2015). "Sasse reflects on his five years at Midland". Fremont Tribune. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  21. ^ "Office of the President". Midland University. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  22. ^ Buffington, Tracy (January 10, 2016). "Sen. Sasse looks back on 5 years at Midland University". Washington Times. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
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  25. ^ United States Senate Financial Disclosures, United States Senate website; retrieved January 11, 2014.
  26. ^ https://www.midlandu.edu/groundbreaking-president-resign
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  40. ^ Daly, Matthew. "Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse is again tangling with Donald Trump and his supporters". U.S. News & World Report. March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016. Two-page article; Krist's comments are on first page, Fischer's on second.
  41. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (July 9, 2018). "Sasse tempts Trump's wrath by refusing to bow". Politico. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
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  46. ^ "Much of GOP falling in line with Trump on climate change". The Mercury News. 2018-12-03. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  47. ^ Bobic, Igor (2018-11-25). "GOP Shrugs Off Bombshell Climate Report". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  48. ^ "NRA Endorses Ben Sasse for U.S. Senate in Nebraska". NRA-PVF. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  49. ^ Ben Sasse (December 3, 2013). "Ben Sasse: I'm running to repeal the Obamacare worldview". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  50. ^ Morton, Joseph. "Ben Sasse offers alternative strategy amid uncertainty over GOP health care bill". Omaha World-Herald. July 1, 2017. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  51. ^ Arkin, James (March 10, 2016). "Senate Passes Bill Addressing Heroin, Opioid Crisis". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  52. ^ "Issues": Sasse for Nebraska Archived October 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.; retrieved October 19, 2014. archived October 17, 2014 at archive.org
  53. ^ CARNEY, JORDAIN; ELIS, NIV. "Senate approves $854B spending bill". The Hill. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  54. ^ Morton, Joseph (May 9, 2017). "Ben Sasse's 'The Vanishing American Adult' isn't your typical lawmaker's book". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  55. ^ results, search; Sasse, Benjamin E. (2004-09-03). Here We Stand!: A Call From Confessing Evangelicals For A Modern Reformation. Phillipsburg, N.J.: P & R Publishing. ISBN  9780875526706.
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  57. ^ "Ben Sasse Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  58. ^ Sasse, Ben (June 9, 2016). "2016 Commencement Address: Never Again Will Jerusalem Grieve". Westminster Seminary California. 2:00 minute mark.
  59. ^ Westminster Seminary California, Catalogue 2014–2015, p. 89; retrieved June 27, 2016.
  60. ^ Derrick, J. C. "Ben Sasse: A Reformed reformer", world.wng.org; retrieved October 5, 2016.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Michael O'Grady
Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation
2007–2009
Succeeded by
Sherry Glied
Academic offices
Preceded by
Stephen Fritz
President of Midland University
2010–2014
Succeeded by
Jody Horner
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mike Johanns
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Nebraska
( Class 2)

2014
Most recent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Mike Johanns
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Nebraska
2015–present
Served alongside: Deb Fischer
Incumbent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Joni Ernst
United States Senators by seniority
88th
Succeeded by
Dan Sullivan