DeSantis Unveils Plan to Eliminate 4 Federal Agencies

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday said he’d try to ax vast parts of the federal bureaucracy if he’s elected president, and vowed to use them in his crusade against “woke” if he can’t eliminate them.

DeSantis, who has made his assault on transgender people’s rights, public education and immigration central to his political identity, told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum that he’s “in favor of eliminating” the departments of Education, Commerce and Energy, as well as the IRS.

“And so, if Congress will work with me on doing that, we’d be able to reduce the size and scope of government,” said DeSantis.

“But what I’m also going to do, Martha, is be prepared if Congress won’t go that far. I’m going to use those agencies to push back against woke ideology and against the leftism we see creeping into all institutions of American life.”

DeSantis, who has led anti-trans laws in his state, added that he’d want the Education Department to “reverse all the transgender sports stuff” and would ensure a higher education accreditation system won’t “foam at” diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives or critical race theory.

“So we’ll be prepared to do both, either way. It’ll be a win for conservatives,” DeSantis declared.

Pledging to eliminate government departments has been a frequent refrain of GOP presidential candidates in previous campaigns. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in 2016 vowed to wipe out the Department of Education. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2015 proposed axing the IRS. And then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 2011 said he’d eliminate the “three agencies of government” he struggled to name.

Perry went on to be secretary to one of those agencies, the Department of Energy, under former President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2019.