Sen. Ben Sasse criticized the state of the United States Senate during his first speech from the Senate floor.
And Sasse called for fellow senators to rise above politics and begin debating the real issues facing the country.
“I don’t think anyone in this body truly believes that we are laser-focused on the greatest challenges our nation faces. No one,” Sasse stated during his 30 minute speech. “Some of us lament this fact. Some of us are angered by this fact. Some of us are resigned to it. Some try to dispassionately explain how we got to the place where we are. But, I don’t think anyone actually disputes it.”
Sasse told his colleagues public opinion polls reflect the public’s distrust of Congress.
“The people despise us all. And why is this? Because we’re not doing our job,” according to Sasse. “We’re not doing the primary things that the people sent us here to do. We’re not tackling the great national problems that worry our bosses at home.”
Polarization is an overstated explanation to the problem, Sasse said.
“Civic disengagement is arguably a much larger problem than political polarization. It isn’t so much that most regular folks we run into back home are really locked in to predictably Republican and predictably Democratic positions on every issue. It’s that they’ve turned us out altogether.”
Sasse stated a functional Senate that acted in accordance to the vision of the country’s founders could help heal the political rift in the country.
“Is it conceivable that we get away with just drifting along like this or must we fix it?”
AUDIO: Sen. Ben Sasse delivers first speech from the floor of the U.S. Senate. [30 min.]