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U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse Sounds Off after Landing in Omaha

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Posted at 11:22 AM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 19:13:45-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse returned to Nebraska Friday, following a flurry of executive activity in Washington.

Sasse spoke to the media at Eppley Airfield to give his thoughts on President Donald Trump's cabinet picks including Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch and Betsy DeVos, the nominee for education secretary.

Sasse, who was critical of Trump during the campaign season, said he supports both picks. Sasse added that members of the Trump administration including Vice President Mike Pence's office reached out to him for advice a few times. 

“I think it was a very exciting pick,” he said. "Gorsuch is the kind of guy that every American should be applauding on the court," he said.

Gorsuch is currently a federal appeals judge in Boulder, Colo.

Jonathan Papik is a lawyer in Omaha. He was a law clerk for Gorsuch in Colorado.

"Partisan political considerations played no role in any of the decisions that I saw," Papik said.

Top democrats have disagreed with Gorsuch’s nomination, including minority house speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"It’s a very hostile appointment," she said earlier this week.

Sasse has supported DeVos since November. He says while she may be a unfamiliar figure to many, she’s in favor of giving power back to the states.

"We need to make sure these schools are more effective in serving their local communities and their kids and the families in those districts,” he said.

“That accountability has ultimately got to come from reducing the regulatory burdens of people just filing paperwork for Washington D.C. and re-empowering those local districts and local families, and I think that's what Mrs. DeVos is going to try to advance"

Senator Sasse said his office is getting numerous calls about a variety of issues, especially DeVos' nomination. But he says many of those callers are not from Nebraska.