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Former Vice President Mike Pence announced Wednesday that if elected president, his administration would embark on a significant effort to move more power to the states — limiting the federal government’s authority over welfare and housing programs, as well as in health care and education.

“I know that states are not subsidiaries of Washington, DC. States are not subordinate departments of the federal government,” Pence said Wednesday at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Legislative Summit in Indianapolis, where he unveiled his new policy proposal.

“Our 50 states are the very foundation of our republic, and let me say with deep conviction, when states are free, America thrives.”

Under Pence’s proposal, federal funding for welfare and housing assistance would be converted into block grants given to the states, and the federal government would be prohibited from passing regulations with what Pence called “unfunded mandates on the states.”

The proposal also includes a plan to eliminate the Department of Education — something Pence, like several of his Republican presidential primary opponents, calls for often on the campaign trail.

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