Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush pledged on Monday to stir up the “settled culture” of Washington D.C. by shrinking government, overhauling lobbying rules and granting the White House line-item veto power.
“The overspending, the overreaching, the arrogance, and the sheer incompetence in that city – these problems have been with us so long that they are sometimes accepted as facts of life. But a president should never accept them, and I will not. We need a president willing to challenge the whole culture in our nation’s capital – and I mean to do it,” he said in remarks in Tallahassee, Florida.
Bush, who served two terms as the governor of Florida, pointed to his experience in the state, saying that his record as a reformer makes him well equipped to cut government spending and waste in Washington.
"It will not be my intention to preside over the establishment, but in every way I know to disrupt that establishment and make it accountable to the people," he said.
He pledged to push Congress to submit a balanced budget amendment to the states, and he praised proposals to reform outdated government procurement protocols.
He also proposed a hiring freeze on federal workers and a six year ban on lobbying for former members of the House and Senate.
"We need to help politicians to rediscover life outside of Washington, which – who knows? – might even be a pleasant surprise for them," he joked.