UF President-elect Ben Sasse delivered his farewell address on the Senate floor Wednesday after eight years representing Nebraska. Sasse will resign his seat this week to assume his role as UF president in February.
Sasse denounced extreme partisanship and urged senators to embrace moderation in his speech before his Senate colleagues.
Though he didn’t mention UF or his impending presidency, he noted he had never planned to remain in office very long, as the country’s founders meant for elected officials to return to their communities after temporary stays in Washington, D.C.
“Washington is a place to do a good bit of neighbor-loving work, but then to go back home to the more permanent work of life and flesh and blood, whole communities,” Sasse said.
He called the House of Representatives’ unsuccessful search for a new speaker a “crap show,” saying it proved the American public neither wants the far left nor the far right.
During his time in office, Sasse served on several committees, including on the judiciary, intelligence, and finance. He became nationally known after voting in favor of former president Donald Trump’s impeachment in 2021, causing the Nebraska GOP to censure him.
“We are blessed with a limited government that exists to protect historic freedoms,” Sasse said. “Stuff unprecedented on the world stage: free exercise of religion, free speech, free assembly, a free economy. There are real injustices in America's past and in our present, and we cannot and should not overlook them. But the answer to injustice is never wallowing in or trying to inflame victimhood.”
Sasse will formally resign from the Senate Jan. 8 and begin his UF presidency Feb. 6.
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Alissa Gary is a second-year journalism major who's covering K-12 education for The Alligator. She has previously reported on student government and university administration. Aside from writing, she likes to take care of her plants and play (and usually win) the New York Times sudoku puzzle.