Scott suggests sending Energy Department to Tennessee, other moves to ‘break up the bureaucracy’ in Washington

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), a GOP presidential candidate for 2024, argued on Friday for housing federal departments and agencies outside of the nation’s capital, suggesting the Energy Department could be moved to Tennessee as one way to “break up the bureaucracy” in Washington.

“Literally — there are some agencies that we may have a conversation about eliminating, but we should take the bureaucracy and send it around the country,” Scott said at The Gathering, an annual event hosted by conservative talk radio host Erick Erickson. 

“Why not take the Energy Department and send it to Tennessee? Why does it have to be housed in Washington?” he said.

“If you want to break the Potomac fever, give these agencies back to the American people. I literally think we’d have a smaller, less intrusive government if everything wasn’t concentrated in Washington, and then insulated,” the senator added. 

Several of Scott’s fellow White House hopefuls are also on the program at The Gathering, just days before qualified Republican presidential candidates meet in Milwaukee next week for the first GOP debate.

In a sweeping conversation with Erickson, Scott shared changes he’d make to the federal government if he wins the Oval Office, including plans to “clean out” the Justice Department. 

“The biggest thing that we can do to manage and then reduce the size of the bureaucracy is to get the federal government doing tasks, only assigned by our constitution to the federal government,” Scott said.

The senator said his potential presidential administration would set up a “10th Amendment Commission” run by a group of governors “to start separating what are federal responsibilities and what are not.” 

“Let’s let the states do what our Constitution says should be left to the states and let the federal government do less work, take less of your money and have a much smaller workforce,” Scott said.

Scott’s campaign is rolling out a major $8 million TV, radio and digital ad buy ahead of the looming GOP debate, his second multimillion-dollar ad campaign in recent months.

The latest Morning Consult poll has Scott at just 3 percent in the GOP primary, the same figure earned by former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. 

Former President Trump is in the lead with 57 percent, followed by his closest competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with 16 percent, according to the poll. Vivek Ramaswamy earned 9 percent, and former Vice President Mike Pence gathered 7 percent. 

Tags Erick Erickson federal government The Gathering Tim Scott Tim Scott Washington DC