Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy wants to cut 1 million civilian employees from the federal government if he wins the White House in 2024.
Mr. Ramaswamy has proposed cuts for the Department of Education, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the IRS and the Commerce Department.
His goal would be to cut the federal workforce— which employs 2.2 million people — by 75% after four years, with a 50% reduction by the end of the first year.
“Keep in mind that 30% of these employees are eligible for retirement in the next five-year period,’” he told Axios. “So it’s substantial — no doubt about it — but it’s not as crazy as it sounds.”
He unveiled the plan ahead of a meeting Wednesday at the America First Policy Institute.
A do-over of the federal bureaucracy is a cornerstone of Mr. Ramaswamy‘s campaign. In July, he told NBC that he wanted to reorganize the same federal agencies.
“In many cases, these agencies are redundant relative to functions that are already performed elsewhere in the federal government,” Mr. Ramaswamy said. “When you have redundancy that’s actually a formula for corruption, as well as waste, fraud and abuse.”
He argued that the president has the authority to make these cuts to non-military federal jobs through executive order and without congressional approval. He planned to tell the Institute Wednesday that “for cause” protection wouldn’t protect federal employees from a mass layoff by executive order.
Former President Donald Trump tried to do something similar back in 2020, by working to reinstate the “Schedule F” executive order that would reclassify tens of thousands of federal employees and make it easier to fire them.