Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in an interview Wednesday that he supports eliminating several federal government agencies entirely—along with the Internal Revenue Service.
Appearing on Fox News, the 2024 Republican presidential candidate was asked by Martha MacCallum if there were any parts of the federal government he’d like to do away with if elected president, with MacCallum mentioning that some Republican candidates in the past have made such calls part of their platform.
Unlike former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who forgot one of the departments he wanted to nix during a 2012 GOP primary debate—and was then picked by Donald Trump in 2016 to lead that very department—DeSantis casually listed them off: “We would do Education, we would do Commerce, we would do Energy, and we would do IRS.”
“And so if Congress will work with me on doing that, we’ll be able to reduce the size and scope of government,” he added. (Congress, not the president, has the authority to establish and eliminate departments.)
“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 that we see creeping into all institutions of American life,” said DeSantis, whose campaign against whatever he deems “woke” has led to a messy court battle with Disney and several instances of books being banned in schools—some after questionable complaints were lodged.
DeSantis then explained how he would use the Department of Education to do so—presumably before he destroys it.
“We reverse all the transgender sports stuff. Women's sports should be protected. We reverse policies trying to inject the curriculum into our schools. That will all be gone,” he said. “We will make sure we have an accreditation system for higher ed which is not trying to foment more things like [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] and [critical race theory].”
DeSantis tried to ban the teaching of critical race theory in higher education through the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act,” but a federal court prevented the legislation from applying to public colleges and universities, calling it “positively dystopian.”