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DeSantis says he would eliminate four federal agencies if elected president

Governor of Florida. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that, if elected president, he would seek to close four federal agencies as part of an effort to shrink the size of government.

“We would Eeducationwe would trade, we would Eenergyand we would do the IRS,” DeSantis he said in an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum when asked if she was in favor of closing any agencies.

“If Congress works with me to do this, we can reduce the size and scope of government,” he added. “If Congress doesn’t go that far, I will use these agencies to push back against the woke, anti-leftist ideology that we see creeping into every institution of American life.”

DeSantis’ campaign did not immediately respond to a request for more details on his comments.

DeSantis has sought to distinguish himself from Republican front-runner Donald Trump, in part by mhappened further to the right of the former president on different issues. On Tuesday, he issued an unexpected veto, rejecting a criminal justice reform bill that had received substantial bipartisan support in the Republican-led state Legislature.

While Trump has not said he would try to eliminate the Department of Education if elected in 2024, he has proposed elimination of federal funding for “any school or program that promotes critical race theory, gender ideology, or other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content to our children.”

“We need to fundamentally reconstitutionalize the government,” DeSantis said Wednesday. “We talked about draining the swamp in 2016 — that didn’t happen. I think the best analogy is breaking up the swamp.”

It wasn’t the first time DeSantis had floated the idea of ​​eliminating the IRS, one frequent target of Republicans. Turned on “Dana’s Show” Last month, DeSantis called the IRS a “corrupt organization” when asked by radio host Dana Loesch if he would sign a measure to abolish the agency.

“The answer is yes,” DeSantis said at the time. “We need something totally different.”

Asked how he would replace the existing tax structure, DeSantis said he has “supported all of the flat rate proposals,” referring to a flat tax.

“It would be welcome to take this tax system, throw it out the window and do something that’s more favorable to the average person,” he said.

The IRS, which is overseen by the Treasury Department, has cut back about 20% of its workforce since 2010. The agreement on the debt ceiling eliminated $1.4 billion in IRS funding and redirected approximately $20 billion of the $80 billion provided to the agency through the Inflation Reduction Act to nondefense funds.

In the current fiscal year, budgets for the Commerce, Energy, and Education departments were $109 billion, $160 billion, and $194 billion, respectively, according to public expenditure data.

DeSantis is not the first GOP presidential candidate in recent election cycles to call for the abolition of federal agencies.

In 2011, then-Texas Governor Rick Perry said in a primary debate that he would eliminate three federal agencies, but he I couldn’t remember the Department of Energy after naming the other two: Commerce and Education. He later served as Energy Secretary in the Trump administration.

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