Ben Sasse on Government Reform



Reduce level of influence of lobbyists with both parties

Both said they would break with their own party in some areas. Domina said he disagrees with Democratic President Barack Obama in several areas, but "this campaign needs to be about solutions."

Sasse said he doesn't like the level of influence that lobbyists hold in Washington with both parties. "Many Republicans are complicit in that," he said. The candidates will face off in the Nov. 4 general election

Source: Omaha World-Herald on 2014 Nebraska Senate debate , Jun 2, 2014

AdWatch: Campaign film "The Outsider", after years in DC

Senate candidate Ben Sasse has created a film that will tout his outsider status. Sasse contends the problem in Washington is "influence peddlers" who don't know what Americans really need. So coming down the pike soon is "The Outsider" film (Not to be confused with the 1983 film, "The Outsiders"). Sasse says, "It's unlike any political advertisement you've ever seen."

Sasse's campaign website explains: "It's time to cure the ineffectiveness and dysfunction of both parties in Washington, and leave the lobbyists and influence peddlers back east. Congress has forgotten conservative values, like how to live within a budget. They need a reminder. That's the point of our first film: we must choose the strongest, most conservative Nebraska voice to send to Washington this November."

Sasse may be an outsider, when compared to lawmakers who have served years in D.C. But he's worked in Washington as well, working as an Assistant Secretary of HHS & as a chief of staff in the Justice Department.

Source: Sioux City Journal AdWatch on 2014 Nebraska Senate race , Jan 4, 2014

Permanent bureaucracy should not write big legislation

Sasse has ideas concerning how government should treat its people. "I think we have to do massive regulatory reform. When you read the Constitution there are only three branches of government, a legislative, executive, and a judicial--and the legislative branch is supposed to pass the laws and the executive branch, execute them. The executive branch doesn't get to create these permanent bureaucracies that write big pieces of legislation that we didn't ever discuss as a people," Sasse said.

In his tour of western Nebraska he came to realize that people really care about the work ethic. "The most commonly talked about subject isn't really a political issue, it's the work ethic. People realize that the greatness of America is about our identity as a people prior to government," Sasse said.

Source: Western Nebraska Observer on 2014 Nebraska Senate race , Dec 5, 2013

Optimistic about America but pessimistic about Washington

While Sasse is optimistic about America, he said he is pessimistic about what is happening in Washington D.C. "I believe in America, I believe in freedom and I believe we can solve our problems," he said.

President Obama, Sasse said, looks at the country's problems through lenses that tell him the only way for a fix is through government. He acknowledged that Americans need the federal government for such services as the military, to protect the country from enemies foreign and domestic and to create the framework for liberty. "But we in our communities are responsible to build our future," he said.

He believes the saddest moment in recent politics is when President Obama gave his "You didn't build that" speech. "You don't go to places like Beatrice and say you didn't build that," he said. Nebraskans have built schools, farms and more in their communities, and not because of a federal mandate, he said.

Source: Imperial Republican: 2014 Nebraska Senate town hall meeting , Nov 20, 2013

Elected to Senate with pledge of 12-year term limit.

Sasse signed pledging 6-year term limit

Organizational Self-Description: U.S. Term Limits, the nation's oldest and largest term limits advocacy group, announced that 14 new signers of its congressional term limits amendment pledge have been elected to the 114th Congress. The group includes five new senators, eight new House members and one House incumbent who signed the pledge for the first time this cycle. The pledge calls for members to co-sponsor and vote for a constitutional amendment limiting House members to three terms (six years) and Senators to two terms (12 years). The USTL President said, "The American people are fed up with career politicians in Washington and strongly embracing term limits as a remedy. Gallup polling shows that 75% of Americans support term limits."

Opposing legal argument: [ACLU, Nov. 7, 2014]: In U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton (May 22, 1995), the Court ended the movement to enact term limits for Congress on a state-by-state basis. The Court held that the qualifications for Congress established in the Constitution itself could not be amended by the states without a constitutional amendment, and that the notion of congressional term limits violates the "fundamental principle of our representative democracy 'that the people should chose whom they please to govern them.'"

Opposing political argument: [Cato Institute Briefing Paper No. 14, Feb. 18, 1992]: Several considerations may explain political scientists' open hostility to term limitation:

Source: Press release from U.S. Term Limits 16-USTL on Nov 8, 2014

Sasse signed supporting Congressional term limits

Excerpts from press release on Term Limits Caucus: Two U.S. Term Limits pledge signers, Republican Rep. Rod Blum (IA-1) and Democrat Rep. Beto O`Rourke (TX-16), have announced the formation of a Term Limits Caucus, which will work to build bipartisan support behind a constitutional amendment imposing term limits on Congress. "The root of this problem is that politicians are incentivized by the system to care more about retaining their position than doing what is best for the country," Blum said. "Our founding fathers never intended for public service to be a career, rather, serving in Congress was designed to be a temporary sacrifice made for the public good."

The new working group will marshal pro-term limits members together to pursue common ground. One of its most important duties will be building consensus around the U.S. Term Limits Amendment of three House terms and two Senate terms, to which both Blum and O`Rourke have pledged their exclusive support.

Supporting argument: (Cato Institute): We should limit members to three terms in the House and two terms in the Senate. Let more people serve. Let more people make the laws. And let's get some people who don't want to make Congress a lifelong career. Some say that term limits would deprive us of the skills of experienced lawmakers. Really? It's the experienced legislators who gave us a $17 trillion national debt, and the endless war in Iraq, and the Wall Street bailout.

Supporting argument: (Heritage Foundation): The only serious opponents of term limits are incumbent politicians and the special interests--particularly labor unions--that support them. Special interests oppose term limits because they do not want to lose their valuable investments in incumbent legislators. Many are organized to extract programs, subsidies, and regulations from the federal government--to use the law as a lever to benefit their own constituencies or harm their rivals.

Source: U.S. Term Limits 17MEM-USTL on Jan 26, 2017

Other candidates on Government Reform: Ben Sasse on other issues:

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