What is Project 2025? The Presidential Transition Project explained. – Clarion Ledger

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The detailed plan to dismantle and reconstruct the government laid out by conservative groups known as the 2025 Presidential Transition Project has critics up in arms over its “apocalyptic” and “authoritarian” nature.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., led an effort to create the more than 900-page “Mandate for Leadership,” published in April 2023, reimagining the executive branch and presented a plan to overhaul several federal government agencies, including the FBI, for the country’s next conservative president to follow.

More:Project 2025 head says ‘second American Revolution’ will be ‘bloodless if the left allows’

According to the Project’s website, the playbook provides a governing agenda and a lineup of people ready to implement it to “rescue the country from the grip of the radical Left.” It includes a domestic and foreign policy agenda, a list of personnel, training, and a 180-day playbook.


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Then-U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the Heritage Foundation’s President’s Club Meeting in Washington, D.C. on October 17, 2017.

“It is not enough for conservatives to win elections,” Project 2025 said on its website. “With the right conservative policy recommendations and properly vetted and trained personnel to implement them, we will take back our government.”

Project 2025’s Director is Paul Dans, who served as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management chief of staff in former President Donald Trump’s administration. Although it mentions Trump by name, the handbook does not directly assume the Republican party’s presumptive nominee will be the one to carry out its agenda.

What is in Project 2025?

The mandate attacks several policies that former President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden instituted, including student loan forgiveness and Obamacare. It simultaneously calls for expanded executive power for the commander-in-chief while criticizing what Project 2025 members perceive as overreaches by the Biden administration.

“Presidents should not issue mask or vaccine mandates, arbitrarily transfer student loan debt, or issue monarchical mandates of any sort,” the plan reads. “Legislatures make the laws in a republic, not executives.”

The playbook calls for the reinstatement of a Trump executive order augmenting a president’s power to hire and fire federal officials by replacing civil servants with political appointees throughout government.

It also seeks to repeal aspects of the Affordable Care Act, urge the Food and Drug Administration to reverse the approval of abortion pills, and further empower Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport undocumented immigrants.

The plan also specifically addresses LGBTQ+ issues and attacks “radical gender ideology.” In addition to calling for an end to the Department of Education, it suggests legislation that would forbid educators from using transgender students’ names or pronouns without written permission from their guardians. It also appears to oppose same-sex marriage and gay couples adopting children by seeking to “maintain a biblically based, social science-reinforced definition of marriage and family.”

Project 2025 generates concern

Project 2025 has received substantial criticism from Democrats, including Representative Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, who called out the controversial plan during a congressional hearing last month.

U.S. Representative Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, attends a House Oversight Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on February 7, 2023.

“I don’t know why or how anybody can support Project 2025,” Crockett said. “In the United States of America, dictatorships are never funny, and Project 2025 is giving the playbook for authoritarianism as well as the next dictator to come in.”

Progressive Democrat U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts called it a “far-right manifesto” in a post on TikTok. The Biden campaign captioned a video detailing Project 2025, stating it “needs more attention.”

Rachel Barber is a 2024 election fellow at USA TODAY, focusing on politics and education. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, as @rachelbarber_

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