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Nebraska GOP votes to rebuke Sen. Ben Sasse, but stops short of formal censure

Longtime critic of Trump cited for failing to support Trump, fight Democrat election changes and timely answer constituents' concerns.

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Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska)
Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska)
(Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images)
Updated: February 28, 2021 - 10:53am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Nebraska Republicans have voted to rebuke Sen. Ben Sasse, a frequent critic of Donald Trump and a potential 2024 presidential candidate, but stopped short of approving a formal censure.

The state party's vote Saturday on a resolution entitled "Expression of Disappointment" gave Trump loyalists and state party faithful a vehicle to unleash a torrent of complaints about Sasse including that he has:

  • "publicly professed his refusal to vote for Donald Trump in 2016, which if broadly followed would have resulted in Hillary Clinton's judicial appointees coming before the Senate Judiciary Committee"
  • "been silent about 200 lawsuits across the country filed by Democrats seeking the elimination of security protocols for mail in ballots"
  • "been silent on the closure of major industries and initiatives that previously benefited the people of Nebraska"
  • failed "to respond to constituent emails or calls in a timely manner or at all and is generally dismissive of Nebraska issues"
  • "failed to fight back against the widespread censorship of conservative voices on platforms professing to be and legally protected as public forums"

After the vote, Sasse issued a statement dismissing the vote as a meaningless Trump backlash, according to the Omaha World Herald. "There are lots of good people involved in party activism, and I care about them," he said. "But most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen told the newspaper that the party didn't vote for a censure "because censure is toothless" but that the approval of the resolution sends a message, "I don’t want this guy living rent-free in my head anymore. Put him in the rear-view mirror."

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