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Mike Pence announced his plan to shift power from Washington, D.C., back to the American people by empowering state lawmakers on Wednesday.

Pence’s Federalism plan would return to the states many of the authorities the federal government has stolen from the states in the post-World War II era.

“The roles and responsibilities of the federal government have had a meteoric growth in modern history, which has created bloated federal spending, record inflation, and enhanced a central government structure over ‘government by the people,’” said Mike Pence at the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. “More power rests in Washington today, than at any time in our history. Our country must return to the ideals of Federalism and give Americans the greatest autonomy and freedom over their own lives. When states are free to lead, our nation benefits from 50 laboratories of democracy – each state developing unique solutions to shared problems, and each state competing with its peers to come up with the best policies.”

Highlights of the Pence plan to empower state lawmakers includes:

Eliminating the Department of Education and Deliver Educational Funds Directly to States

Control over the education of children should be vested in the hands of parents working at the local level with their community schools. President Pence will work with Congress to eliminate the unnecessary Department of Education and return that funding and decision-making back to parents.

Provide States with Federal Healthcare Funds and Flexibility

Since Obamacare was enacted with its Washington-based control of American healthcare, health insurance premiums have doubled, and the country is now facing a doctor shortage. Our top-down system needs to be reformed. Federal spending on insurance subsidies and low-income healthcare services should be given to the states in the form of flexible block grants. States should have the ability to allocate healthcare dollars toward policies and plans that work best for their populations.

Grant Millions of Acres of Federal Land Back to States

The federal government owns a staggering 28% of all land in the country. That adds up to 640 million acres of land across the country. The Pence Administration will begin identifying and selling land back to states and individuals to revert millions of acres from the federal government to better stewardship from states.

Give States the Authority to Administer All Federal Welfare Programs

In total, there are over 80 different federal programs designed to assist Americans living in poverty that cost over $400 billion each year. The Washington-based welfare system is inefficient, expensive, and confusing for the people who need it the most. Rather than layer these programs across multiple agencies and administer them through an army of bureaucrats, funding to help the needy should be consolidated into simple grants and given to the states. President Pence will work with Congress to turn over these programs and funding to the states where they can be tailored to meet the needs of individuals while helping people achieve success.

Return Control of Highway Trust Fund Spending to States

States should be freed from unnecessary federal requirements so more money can be spent on construction. The next time that highway spending is reauthorized, President Pence will engage with Congress to devolve more non-interstate federal highway dollars directly back to the states to prioritize projects without federal strings attached.

Prohibit Any Regulations that Impose Unfunded Mandates on States

Unfunded mandates on states and regulatory compliance costs erode the Tenth Amendment and the principle of Federalism that this country was founded upon. As President, Pence will enforce a new regulatory standard that will review all new rules for costs and burdens they will impose on states.

Convert All Federal Housing Programs to State Administered Block Grants

Through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the federal government operates over one dozen programs that provides rental and housing assistance to individuals. Like welfare programs, these federally centered housing plans have resulted in a housing policy that keeps people in poverty.  Even worse, evidence has shown that HUD policies have, in some cases, encouraged segregation. Rental assistance programs should not be controlled by bureaucrats in Washington. These programs need to be reformed to ensure that states and localities with direct knowledge of their communities are in charge of assistance. President Pence will work to make sure that happens.

Enact Rules and Legislation to Limit the Federal Use of Eminent Domain

President Pence will oppose excessive use of eminent domain and enact legislation to ensure that property owners are compensated when the government deprives them of the use of that property. In order to do so, he will implement a high administrative standard for the federal government to even consider the use of eminent domain. Under the Pence Administration, there will be no place for the use of eminent domain to advance green energy priorities at the expense of private property rights.

Read Mike Pence’s full plan to empower state lawmakers HERE.


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