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Senator Envisions Chamber's Role Under a President Trump

Sasse spoke Thursday about a potential Trump White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Move aside Plato's cave, the Senate floor now has the allegory of President Donald Trump.  

"Today I'd like to propose a thought experiment. Imagine President Trump has been propelled into the White House with 300 electoral votes," Sen. Ben Sasse said on the Senate floor. "The first hundred days are huge. He signs an order that turns the Peace Corps into stone masons to build the southern wall, he shutters the Department of Education, and by executive order he turns the Department of Interior into the classiest oil company the world has ever known."  

"Would those who have stayed silent about executive overreach over the last seven years suddenly find religion? After years of legislative atrophy, would Congress spring into action and remember its supposed power of the purse? And what about Republicans? After having raged against a supposedly lawless president, would many suddenly find that they're actually OK with a strongman president, so long as he's wearing the same colored jersey they are?" asked Sasse.  

In a follow-up to his maiden speech, the Nebraska Republican announced he would be offering a series of speeches in 2016 on the history of the power shift between the legislative and executive branches, with Thursday evening's remarks as a prelude.  

"My goal is to give all of us who are called to serve in this body a shared since of some historical moments about how we got to this place where so much of the legislative function now happens inside the executive branch, and to convince my colleagues of both parties that we have to take this power back regardless of who serves in the White House and what party they are from," Sasse said.

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