Ramaswamy: I'll Eliminate FBI, Fire 75% of Federal Workers

'We will use executive authority to shut down the deep state,' GOP candidate vows
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2023 8:42 AM CDT
Ramaswamy Wants to Fire 75% of Federal Workers
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks at the America First Policy Institute in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Vivek Ramaswamy, predicting that he would "get a lot of pushback," outlined a proposal Wednesday night to fire more than 1.6 million federal workers and shut down agencies including the FBI. "Do we want incremental reform? No," the Republican presidential candidate said, per Reuters. "Or do we want a revolution?" Ramaswamy, speaking at a pro-former President Trump think-tank in Washington, DC, said he would also eliminate the Department of Education; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Food and Nutrition Service; and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees radioactive materials and nuclear power plant safety.

Ramaswamy said that if elected president, he would reduce the federal payroll by half in his first year in office and by 75% during his first term, the AP reports. With the FBI, he said 20,000 employees would be fired and another 15,000 sent to other agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration. He claimed that despite "myths" about the limits of presidential authority, he would be able to make the changes without the approval of Congress. "We will use executive authority to shut down the deep state," he said.

"Speaking as a CEO, if somebody works for you, and you can't fire them, that means they don't work for you," the entrepreneur said. Other candidates, including Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have also vowed to eliminate government agencies but Ramaswamy's proposals go further than anything his rivals have proposed. Experts on the Constitution and the separation of powers said the legal theories behind his proposal wouldn't survive a court challenge, the New York Times reports. Peter M. Shane, a specialist in separation-of-powers law at New York University, described a campaign white paper on the theories as "fantastical." (More Vivek Ramaswamy 2024 stories.)

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