President Donald Trump on Monday accused Sen. Ben Sasse of being a “RINO” who had “gone rogue” by scolding the White House for a recent collection of executive actions meant to provide assistance to Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“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 wrote on Twitter. “This foolishness plays right into the hands of the Radical Left Dems!”
Trump’s admonishment of Sasse comes after the Nebraska Republican issued a scathing statement in response to the president’s announcement of four relief measures after a breakdown in talks between White House negotiators and congressional Democrats — who failed last week to strike a deal on a new round of federal coronavirus aid.
In a politically charged speech Saturday delivered from his resort in Bedminster, N.J., Trump said he would pursue one executive order and three presidential memoranda to federal agencies aimed at cutting taxes for workers until the end of the year, extending unemployment benefits at a reduced rate, renewing a moratorium on evictions during the pandemic, and deferring student loan payments and interest until the end of the year.
But Sasse, who emerged as an early GOP critic of the president despite consistently voting in favor of the White House’s legislative priorities, joined with Democratic lawmakers in questioning the legality of Trump’s maneuvers.
“The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop,” Sasse said Saturday night. “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.”