What is Project 2025, the conservative plan to remake federal government? (2024)

Q: What is Project 2025?

A: Project 2025 is an initiative developed by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, to make signficant changes to the backbone of the U.S. federal government. It is designed to be implemented if former President Donald Trump wins the 2024 presidential election. The project is built around a conservative policy agenda and aims to ensure that Republican loyalists are in place at all levels of the federal bureaucracy to carry out policies, effectively from the first days of a new administration. If enacted, it would bring significant changes across various aspects of American life, encompassing government operations, environmental regulations, social policies and civil service structures.

Q: What are the main components of Project 2025?

A: The project is structured around four main pillars:

  • Policy Agenda: The Policy Agenda is a detailed guide for the incoming administration, offering specific proposals for every major issue facing the country. It builds on the legacy of the Heritage Foundation's previous policy guides and pulls expertise from across the conservative movement to formulate effective strategies.
  • Presidential Personnel Database: The Presidential Personnel Database aims to cast a wide net across the country to identify conservative individuals from all walks of life who can serve in the next administration. This is meant to ensure that the policy agenda can be implemented effectively by having loyalists in key positions.
  • Presidential Administration Academy: The academy brings together experts who have served in prior GOP administrations to share their knowledge through workshops, seminars, online videos and mentorship programs. This training is intended to prepare new recruits to effectively carry out the administration's policies.
  • 180-Day Playbook: The 180-Day Playbook is a plan outlining actions to be taken in the first six months of the new administration. Its goal is to essentially repeal various policies of the previous administration, including steps to implement the most urgent parts of the conservative agenda immediately after taking office.
What is Project 2025, the conservative plan to remake federal government? (1)

Q: What are some of the key proposals of Project 2025?

A: The proposals cover a wide range of areas, including economic policies, social programs and government operations. Some notable plans include:

Government and Civil Service: The core tenet of Project 2025 is the overhaul of the federal bureaucracy. The plan includes the reclassification of tens of thousands of federal employees under a proposed "Schedule F" to facilitate easier firing and hiring of personnel aligned with conservative values. The goal is to ensure that federal agencies are staffed by individuals who will implement the president's agenda without resistance from career civil servants.

Environmental Regulations: Project 2025 seeks to roll back many of the Biden administration's climate policies. It proposes the dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency's renewable energy programs, reducing funding for environmental justice initiatives and halting the expansion of the electrical grid for wind and solar energy. The project envisions a regulatory environment that favors the fossil fuel industry, potentially slowing the transition to renewable energy sources.

Social Policies: The project outlines a significant shift in social policies, particularly around reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ issues. It advocates for the reversal of federal protections for abortion and contraception and suggests the reinstatement of the Comstock Act to limit mail-order abortion pills while proposing the removal of federal funding from providers who offer reproductive health services. Additionally, it includes measures to restrict LGBTQ+ rights and remove diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives from federal programs.

Education and Public Services: Project 2025 calls for budget savings that would eliminate the Department of Education, delivering more control of education standards to state and local authorities. It would also eliminate the Head Start early education program.

Healthcare and Social Services: The initiative suggests privatizing various public services and reducing the scope of federal social programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. These changes would shift to a greater reliance on state and local governments, as well as private entities, for the provision of these types of services.

Executive Power: A significant aspect of Project 2025 is the expansion of executive power. It proposes consolidating authority within the presidency, reducing the independence of federal agencies and increasing presidential control over policy implementation. This shift aims to streamline decision-making processes but raises concerns about the potential for executive overreach.

What is Project 2025, the conservative plan to remake federal government? (2)

Q: What are the main criticisms of Project 2025?

A: Critics argue that Project 2025 poses an affront to democracy and social welfare. The Democracy Forward Foundation describes it as a plan to undermine the quality of life for millions of Americans by prioritizing special interests and ideological extremism over the American public. They highlight concerns such as cutting wages, creating unsafe workplaces, destabilizing the economy and undermining civil rights protections.

Q: How do supporters of Project 2025 justify its proposals?

A: Supporters believe that Project 2025 is necessary to streamline the federal government, reduce spending, and reverse any perceived damage caused by liberal policies. They argue that the initiative will restore conservative principles to governance, ensuring a more limited, efficient and effective federal government.

Q: How have political figures reacted to Project 2025?

A: Project 2025 has become a focal point in the election. Among politicians who have spoken out in favor or against the framework:

Neil Chatterjee, Former Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, via Politico: "Even if we lose the election and don't get the opportunity to govern, I still think this defined strategy is important because we know what we're for and what we can showcase to the American people even if we're out of power."

Paul Dans, Director of Project 2025 at the Heritage Foundation, via Salon: "We need to flood the zone with conservatives. This is a clarion call to come to Washington. People need to lay down their tools, and step aside from their professional life and say, 'This is my lifetime moment to serve.'"

Russell Vought, Former Director of the Office of Management and Budget, via Politico: "We have to be thinking mechanically about how to take these institutions over. and highlight the need for executive orders, playbooks, and memoranda to seize control of the administrative state."

David Dewhirst, Senior Advisor to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, via Project 2025: "For the next conservative president to succeed, the executive branch must be staffed at every level with proven, conservative leaders from across the country who will courageously and efficiently implement the president's agenda."

Alex Floyd, DNC Rapid Response Director, via : "Donald Trump is running on the extreme and unpopular Project 2025 agenda, plain and simple – and there is nothing Trump or his allies can say to distance themselves from it."

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), via press release: "Project 2025 is more than an idea, it's a dystopian plot that's already in motion to dismantle our democratic institutions, abolish checks and balances, chip away at church-state separation, and impose a far-right agenda that infringes on basic liberties and violates public will."

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), via press release: "Project 25 is a radical, extreme, pro-authoritarianism plan pushed by conservatives who are desperate to take our country backwards. It is a movement led by far-right extremists that attacks our nation's founding principles, such as our system of checks and balances, freedom of speech and of the press, and separation of church and state. Project 25 presents a bleak and dangerous vision for America."

Rep Diana DeGette (D-CO), via press release: "We must counteract the radical roadmap laid out by Project 2025 to ensure that our country does not go backwards at the hands of their extremist agenda."

To read the full document, visit the Project 2025 official website.

Update: 6/29/2024, 10:26 a.m.: The byline was updated on this article.

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What is Project 2025, the conservative plan to remake federal government? (2024)
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