Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has suggested that many federal government departments should be moved outside of their current location in Washington, D.C., in an effort to put an end to what he called the “accumulation of power” in the nation’s capital.
DeSantis made the comment in an interview with The New York Post published on Feb. 18.
“Too much power has accumulated in D.C. and the result is a detached administrative state that rules over us and imposes its will on us,” DeSantis said. “While there are a host of things that need to be done to re-constitutionalize government, parceling out federal agencies to other parts of the country could help reduce the negative effects of this accumulation of power.”
DeSantis is widely seen as a likely 2024 presidential candidate but is yet to formally announce any campaign.
Multiple polls indicate that former President Donald Trump, who announced his candidacy on Nov. 15, 2022, holds a comfortable lead over his top rival DeSantis.
However, other polls of Republican voters show DeSantis leading against Trump when it comes to their 2024 nomination preferences.
DeSantis’ latest comments are similar to those made by Trump during his initial campaign in which he pledged to “Drain the Swamp” and curb the power and influence that Washington has over ordinary Americans.
DeSantis, Biden Clash Over Immigration
Republican DeSantis has regularly taken aim at the Biden administration over a variety of issues including the president’s handling of classified documents that were recently found at Biden’s former office and home.
The Florida lawmaker has also clashed with Biden over his border policies which many GOP lawmakers believe have contributed to the growing crisis at the Southern border.
Earlier this month, DeSantis was handed a win when Florida lawmakers approved an expansion of his relocation program for illegal immigrants, handing him the authority to transport such individuals from any state to any jurisdiction in the country, including to Democrat-led states.
Last year, the Biden administration and other Democratic lawmakers criticized DeSantis for using taxpayer funds to fly dozens of illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, from Texas.
At the time, DeSantis said the move was a response to the Biden administration’s failed immigration policies that have left communities along the southern border overwhelmed. His office also said the flights were voluntary and that immigrants signed consent forms before being flown to Martha’s Vineyard.
Biden Takes Aim at DeSantis
The legislation (pdf) approved earlier this month allocates $10 million for the newly-expanded program. It specifically critiques the Biden administration, noting that “the Federal Government has proven itself unwilling to address this crisis” at the border.
DeSantis and the Biden administration have also clashed on the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools. CRT is a Marxist ideology that redefines human history as a struggle between the “oppressors”—typically considered to be white people—and the “oppressed”—other identity groups.
Earlier this month, the Florida lawmaker announced his plans to block state colleges from participating in a pilot of the College Board’s new AP course on African American Studies, which included topics such as CRT, stating that they run in contradiction to Florida’s values.
“Virtually every major institution in our country is attempting to impose a ‘progressive’ agenda on society,” DeSantis told The New York Post of the recent block. “Florida strives to protect the ability of its citizens to live their lives free from this agenda being shoved down their throats.”
Biden took aim at the move on Twitter on Feb. 17, sharing a Washington Post article in which Florida parents condemned DeSantis’ move.
“I think every kid, in every zip code, in every state should have access to every education opportunity possible. I guess, for some, that isn’t the consensus view,” Biden wrote.
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