(Bloomberg) -- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he would block government spending bills he deems too costly as president, potentially triggering federal shutdowns.

“So when I get in as president, I’m going to do like I did as governor and we’re going to be willing to wield the veto pen if they’re spending too much money.” DeSantis said Friday at a campaign event in Long Beach, California. 

DeSantis’s remarks come about a day before the federal government is poised to shut down after disagreements between Republicans in Congress stalled legislation to extend funding. DeSantis, along with frontrunner former President Donald Trump, have urged key Republican allies in Congress to use hardline tactics in the spending negotiations that could keep the government closed for days, if not weeks.

DeSantis frequently rejected bills passed by the state legislature as governor. This year, he signed a record-high state budget bill, but vetoed about $511 million of spending included in the legislation. As president, DeSantis wouldn’t have authority to block specific line items of a broader bill passed by Congress.

DeSantis spoke at the Port of Long Beach, one of the busiest ports in the US and a primary channel for trade with China, the world’s second-biggest economy. 

The Florida governor said he wants to curtail trade with Beijing by manufacturing more cars domestically. DeSantis last week unveiled his plan to lower gasoline prices to $2 a gallon that would necessitate a large increase in US oil and gas extraction.

“We don’t want to be dependent on China,” he said. “We want to be able to do our own fuel here with traditional American automobiles.”

The Long Beach port’s container terminal has also played a role in the US-China trade tension saga. The Trump administration forced Orient Overseas, a unit of Hong Kong-based Cosco Shipping Holdings, to sell the port over security concerns in 2019.

DeSantis aims to use policy-focused events to gin support from donors and voters as he looks to shore up a campaign riddled by sliding poll numbers and staffing shakeups. The Florida governor has failed to gain on Trump, who is leading the field by 43.9 points nationally. 

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