The decade's most triggering comedy
Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis declared that as president he would eliminate the cabinet-level Departments of Education, Commerce, Energy, and the IRS.
DeSantis, who has delivered on multiple promises in his state during his tenure, made the comments while speaking to Fox News’ Martha MacCallum, who asked him if there were any federal agencies he would attempt to eliminate.
“We would do Education, we would do Commerce, we’d do Energy, and we would do IRS,” DeSantis declared.
“If Congress will work with me on doing that, we’ll be able to reduce the size and scope of government,” he continued. “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.”
Two of the agencies DeSantis targeted were established by former President Jimmy Carter. He established the Department of Energy in 1977. The Department of Education was established in 1980, after the National Education Association, which had pushed for a federal agency since the turn of the century, made its first presidential endorsement ever by supporting Jimmy Carter in 1976. Carter’s running mate, Walter Mondale, whose brother was an NEA official, promised the NEA that a Carter administration would establish a Cabinet-level agency for education.
In order for a president to eliminate an agency of the federal government, the president must be granted presidential reorganization authority by Congress, and thus DeSantis would need to gain control of the Senate and keep control of the House to have a chance to set his plan in motion.
Presidential reorganization authority was first granted in 1932 and most recently granted to former President Ronald Reagan. Both former presidents George W. Bush in 2002 and Barack Obama in 2012 asked for such authority, but it was not granted. Neither president’s party had control over the entire Congress at the time.
Last week, DeSantis and the state of Florida sued the Department of Education, accusing it of unconstitutionally collaborating with accreditation bodies to try to block DeSantis from bringing increased transparency and accountability to public colleges and universities.
“I will not allow Joe Biden’s Department of Education to defund America’s #1 higher education system all because we refuse to bow to unaccountable accreditors who think they should run Florida’s public universities,” DeSantis pronounced.
“Throughout my time in office, I have made it a priority to bring transparency and accountability to higher education and to reorient the mission of our colleges and universities away from purveying destructive ideologies and back toward the pursuit of truth and the preparation of our students for success,” he continued. “The Biden administration’s attempts to block these reforms is an abuse of federal power.”
The lawsuit noted that Florida’s postsecondary institutional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS), had threatened the accreditation of Florida State University (FSU) “merely because FSU was considering the State’s Commissioner of Education for university president.”