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Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks to guests at the Family Leadership Summit on July 14, 2023 in Des Moines, Iowa. Several Republican presidential candidates were scheduled to speak at the event, billed as “The Midwest’s largest gathering of Christians seeking cultural transformation in the family, Church, government, and more.
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 14.Scott Olson / Getty Images

Vivek Ramaswamy lays out plans to eliminate federal agencies including FBI

The Republican presidential candidate also said the Department of Education and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission could be shuttered.

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CLAREMONT, N.H. — Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is laying out plans to shut down a number of federal government agencies if elected, starting with the FBI, Department of Education and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Ramaswamy says his plan does not require rebuilding anything, but rather reorganizing. 

“In many cases, these agencies are redundant relative to functions that are already performed elsewhere in the federal government,” Ramaswamy said in an interview with NBC News. “When you have redundancy, that’s actually a formula for corruption, as well as waste, fraud and abuse.” 

Ramaswamy’s plan would see money used to run the FBI, for example, be redistributed to the U.S. Secret Service, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Ramaswamy says the Presidential Reorganization Act of 1977 provides “an important statutory basis” to go forward with this plan, as it allows him to submit plans to Congress about reorganizing an executive agency. 

Eliminating federal agencies has become a recurring talking point in Republican primaries for years — most famously when then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in a 2011 GOP debate that he would eliminate three agencies but couldn’t remember one of them.