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Sen. Sasse Tells Trump ‘America Doesn’t Have Kings’ in Response to Recent Executive Orders

Senators Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) attend the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Police Use of Force and Community Relations” in Washington, D.C., June 16, 2020. (Tom Williams/Pool via Reuters)

Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) doubled down on his criticism of President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders in a tweet on Monday afternoon, saying “no president” has the power to make such unilateral policy decisions.

“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,” Sasse said. “This is because America doesn’t have kings.”

Sasse’s comment was the latest in a war of words between the pair that played out on Twitter after the senator called Trump’s executive orders “unconstitutional slop.” 

“The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop,” Sasse said earlier.

The orders, which Trump signed in response to legislative gridlock over additional Covid relief legislation, extended the expanded unemployment benefits Congress approved in March, deferred payroll taxes and extended rent and student loan payment assistance.

“President Obama did not have the power to unilaterally rewrite immigration law with DACA, and President Trump does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law. Under the Constitution, that power belongs to the American people acting through their members of Congress,” he continued.

The president shot back at Sasse’s initial criticism, calling the senator a “Republican in Name Only” or RINO.

“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. This foolishness plays right into the hands of the Radical Left Dems!” Trump wrote in a Monday morning tweet, branding Sasse as a “Republican in Name Only” or RINO.

In his latest response, Sasse accused the president of being “frustrated I 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,” he added. 

“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 then offered to “move the conversation back to a private channel” if Trump so desires.

The senator’s criticism of Trump’s executive action put him at odds with GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who called the orders a necessary action.

“Struggling Americans need action now. Since Democrats have sabotaged backroom talks with absurd demands that would not help working people, I support President Trump exploring his options to get unemployment benefits and other relief to the people who need them the most,” McConnell said.

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