(WASHINGTON) — Building on a key part of his pitch to conservative voters, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said during a speech in the nation’s capital on Wednesday that he wants to cut the federal workforce by 75% — in part by dismantling the government.
Ramaswamy spoke at the America First Policy Institute headquarters in Washington, D.C., and argued that, if elected, he would use the “executive authority to shut down redundant federal agencies and to reorganize the federal government accordingly.”
Flanked by poster boards detailing his plans, Ramaswamy described his vision to reconfigure the federal government, saying he was debunking the “myths” that have been told by “members of the bureaucracy” about what the president can do when it comes to restructuring the government. Ramaswamy laid out his plans to reconfigure the federal government to “revive the promise of that constitutional republic with three branches of government rather than four” by targeting agencies such as the FBI, Department of Education, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Food & Nutrition Service (FNS).
“First, it will be a plan that reduces the size of the federal employee headcount by over 75% if I’m the next president, by the end of my first term, 50% of which is implementable by the end of year one,” Ramaswamy said.
He added that he would next rescind a majority of federal regulations that he says “act like a wet blanket on the U.S. economy”.
Ramaswamy’s remarks come months after an initial unveiling in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he detailed plans to divide the responsibilities of the FBI, Department of Education and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission among other agencies he deems better suited to more efficiently conduct their jobs.
Although other presidential candidates have talked about cutting the number of federal employees, Ramaswamy’s plans go further than any other presidential candidate. They are part of his ongoing effort to act on the “radical ideals” of America’s founding and an ongoing effort to not “[hide] from the radicalism of the American Revolution.”
“I think we have to be honest with ourselves, that America was not founded on moderate ideals. America was founded on radical ideals, that idea that you get to speak your mind,” he said Wednesday.
The plans are undoubtedly ambitious, and expected — even by Ramaswamy — to be met with legal challenges.
“If they want to sue me, let them sue me. We’ll take that to the Supreme Court. I’ve studied the current Supreme Court. We win six to three on my view of the Constitution and the laws of this country,” Ramaswamy told supporters at an event in Dublin, New Hampshire, on Sep. 2. “We codify that into judicial precedent so the next guy that comes along after me is not going to have his hands tied in the same way. That’s how we drive real change in this country.”
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