Roll Call New Member Profiles: 113th Congress
- Election: Defeated Heather Beaven, D
- Residence: Ponte Vedra Beach
- Born: Sept. 14, 1978; Jacksonville, Fla.
- Religion: Roman Catholic
- Family: Wife, Casey Black DeSantis
- Education: Yale U., B.A. 2001 (history & political science); Harvard U., J.D. 2005
- Military: Navy 2004-10; Navy Reserve 2010-present
- Career: Lawyer; military prosecutor; high school teacher
- Political highlights: No previous office
Ron DeSantis, R-Fla.
DeSantis says his top priority is repealing the 2010 health care overhaul or defunding as much of it as possible.
He also opposes federal education programs such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. While he supports statistical and performance-based analysis of education, he says "the power should reside with state and local officials."
DeSantis advocates congressional term limits with a maximum for House members being three to six terms. He vows not to accept a congressional pension.
He arrives on Capitol Hill following nearly six years in the Navy, where he served as a Judge Advocate General officer; in 2007, he was deployed to Iraq as an adviser to the Navy SEALs. He learned "the Pentagon is a huge bureaucracy," one that could afford additional savings. He opposes, however, the $500 billion in cuts scheduled to hit the Defense Department under the sequester and vows not to skimp on military readiness. He says his experience could make him a good fit for either the Armed Services or Judiciary panels.
DeSantis district was hit hard by the housing collapse. He believes the key to helping his constituents is to invigorate the economy; housing prices and relief to struggling homeowners would follow.
While he is likely to band with other small-government conservatives in the House, DeSantis says there are areas where he can work with Democrats. He points to auditing the Federal Reserve as one issue where he hopes to find bipartisan partners.