House Democrats trying to stop far-right Project 2025 agenda for a Donald Trump White House

Jun 11, 2024, 6:03 PM

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., speaks as the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure wo...

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., speaks as the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure works to advance the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 18, 2022. A group of House Democrats is warning about the far-right Project 2025 agenda for a Trump White House. The Stop Project 2025 Task Force is announced by Huffman. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

(AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Warning about the far-right Project 2025 agenda for a Donald Trump White House, a group of House Democrats has launched a task force to start fighting the proposal and stop it from taking hold if the Republican former president returns to power.

Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman of California is unveiling The Stop Project 2025 Task Force on Tuesday, the latest sign that congressional Democrats and outside groups are treating Trump’s campaign seriously in the expected rematch against Democratic President Joe Biden this fall.

“The stakes just couldn’t be higher,” Huffman told The Associated Press.

Huffman said the Project 2025 agenda will hit “like a Blitzkrieg” and lawmakers need to be ready.

“If we’re trying to react to it and understand it in real time, it’s too late,” he said. “We need to see it coming well in advance and prepare ourselves accordingly.”

The Democratic-led task force comes as groups on and off Capitol Hill are increasingly alarmed over Project 2025, a sweeping blueprint from the conservative Heritage Foundation that is preparing to quickly help staff a new GOP administration with plans for dismantling aspects of the federal government and installing loyalists for a second Trump term.

Kevin Roberts, the president of The Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action for America, scoffed at the “unserious” effort and said the left is “in a frenzy” as Project 2025 tries to wrest control of the federal bureaucracy.

“Project 2025 will not be ‘stopped,’” Roberts said in a statement. He said the Democrats fighting Project 2025 are “more than welcome to try. We will not give up and we will win.”

While the Trump campaign has repeatedly said that outside groups do not speak for the former president, Project 2025’s 1,000-page proposal was drafted with input from a long list of former Trump administration officials who are poised to fill the top ranks of a potential new administration.

Core to the Project 2025 plan is ousting thousands of civil servants and replacing them with personnel from a database of applicants, an effort to reverse the setbacks of Trump’s first term, when many of his more extreme ideas were thwarted and blocked by those refusing to break norms or overextend presidential powers.

Huffman’s group is the latest to take on the Project 2025 proposal and plans for a Trump White House.

Last week, one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations, the American Civil Liberties Union, announced it was preparing potential legal action to stop Trump’s campaign promise to launch mass deportations of immigrants on the first day of his presidency if elected. It’s the first of several memos the ACLU is rolling out, offering a blueprint on how it plans to respond to a second Trump or Biden term.

And others are detailing alleged threats to democracy if Trump’s attacks on the judicial system, plans to pardon those convicted in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and threats of vengeance on political enemies take hold.

Huffman’s group is made up of about a half-dozen House Democratic lawmakers in a loose coalition separate from party leadership. It plans to begin briefing fellow lawmakers about Project 2025, hold a forum on Capitol Hill and inform voters about its ideas.

The group hopes to provide a hub of information for lawmakers, voters and organizations about various policy proposals, including immigration, reproductive rights and others.

As a founder of the Freethought Caucus on Capitol Hill, Huffman said he has particularly been alarmed about a rise of Christian nationalism within GOP ranks and efforts to push more conservative theology into government.

“We were able to beat back some of the worst of this Christian nationalist agenda, this authoritarian agenda, in the first Trump presidency, because they didn’t really know what they were doing,” Huffman said. “The fact that they have been putting all of this forethought and research and planning into a second Trump presidency means we’ll be dealing with a much more formidable foe, if it comes to that this time around.”

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House Democrats trying to stop far-right Project 2025 agenda for a Donald Trump White House