Tallahassee — After a failed presidential candidacy, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said state lawmakers should change Washington this year.
Less than two weeks after suspending his presidential campaign and less than halfway through the 60-day legislative session, DeSantis told cheering supporters Monday that state lawmakers should seek U.S. constitutional amendments to limit Congress' term and balance the federal budget.
In front of a placard reading “HOLD WASHINGTON ACCOUNTABLE,” the governor conceded that his ideas aren't new and 33 other states must join him. Many states have done it throughout the years, DeSantis noted. “Florida did term limits 10, 12 years ago.
DeSantis avoided laying out a legislative agenda this year, unlike other years. The week before he finished second to former President Donald Trump in the first-in-the-nation caucuses, his opening speech seemed like a list-ditch pitch to Iowa voters.
DeSantis went to Naples, more than 330 miles (531 kilometers) from the Capitol, to weigh in on the proposed U.S. changes after the House and Senate did so. He also criticized President Joe Biden on immigration and international affairs, but did not address Florida's urgent issues or what he will do before leaving office in 2027.
Democratic Sen. Jason Pizzo favors congressional term limits but knows Florida can't control them. In Iowa, the governor regularly spoke of putting on “the full armor of God.” Pizzo blasted DeSantis for making it and a balanced budget amendment among his first public comments since returning.
“He should focus on insurance and infrastructure,” Pizzo remarked. Discuss if you can flush the toilet in 10 years. I realize it's not glamorous, but a guy who wears the whole armor of God should focus on these things.”
Pizzo theorizes why DeSantis still sounds presidential. “I don’t think he’s dropped out,” Pizzo remarked. “He’s running. He keeps twisting it up, but he expects Trump will be unable to serve.
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