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Jared Huffman
Rep. Jared Huffman of California speaks at an event in his district. Jeff Chiu/AP

Democrats Create a Task Force to Punch Back at GOP’s ‘Project 2025’

The founder of the new task force, Rep. Jared Huffman, told NOTUS that Project 2025 is “the most alarming existential threat” the country has seen in a century.

Democrats are sounding the alarm about a second Donald Trump administration, and they’re announcing a new task force Tuesday to combat one particular proposal that has grabbed their attention: Project 2025.

An initiative spearheaded by the Trump-aligned think tank The Heritage Foundation, Project 2025 is a blueprint for another Trump presidency, complete with a database for staffing a new White House and chock-full of conservative policy priorities like overhauling the Justice Department and curtailing abortion access. Although Trump’s campaign has tried to distance the former president from Project 2025, key allies like former adviser Stephen Miller are deeply enmeshed in the initiative.

Which is why Democrats announced the task force — the “central hub,” in their words — for “examining, highlighting, preempting and counteracting this right-wing plot to undermine democracy.”

In an interview with NOTUS on Monday, the founder of the new task force, progressive Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman of California, called Project 2025 “the most alarming existential threat” the country has seen in a century.

“If you care about democracy, individual rights, church-state separation and things like that, this thing is a wrecking ball,” he said.

Huffman and a slew of top Democratic lawmakers are punching back, unveiling the aptly named Stop Project 2025 task force on Tuesday.

The working group is backed by a high-profile slate of House Democrats including Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, leadership member Rep. Ted Lieu of California and Trump resistance darling Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland. The lawmakers will coordinate with liberal outside organizations like the Center for American Progress, MoveOn, Human Rights Campaign and Common Cause.

“Most people don’t have time to hang out on Charlie Kirk’s podcast and Steve Bannon’s blog and understand just how serious and alarming this stuff is,” Huffman said. “So we get a chance to translate it for them, tell them what they need to know, explain why this is not an idle threat. This is coming from the highest levels of the Trump team.”

Voters ought to know, Huffman said, that Project 2025 proposes slashing the civil service and seeks to undercut protections for the LGBTQ+ community.

Put simply, Huffman continued, Project 2025 packages “all of the worst right-wing authoritarian ideas that they’ve tried to advance in the past and put them into one policy manifesto that is clearly going to be the playbook for a second Trump administration.”

Huffman’s education plans may also get a boost from social media. Content about Project 2025 has surged on TikTok in recent weeks as left-wing critics warn of the initiative’s “apocalyptic” impacts.

The task force’s vision also dovetails with President Joe Biden’s reelection messaging, which has seized on Trump’s anti-democratic impulses. That emphasis may be a winning strategy. Polling indicates that concern over another Trump presidency is driving some undecided voters toward Biden.

But pressed on whether Biden was doing enough messaging on Project 2025, Huffman was clear-eyed.

“The president has tried really hard to make this an election that’s about democracy and the rule of law,” he said. “But clearly, we have more work to do.”

The task force’s scope isn’t just proactive, however. Should the White House and the Senate slip through Democrats’ fingers at the end of 2024, Huffman said the task force would be prepared to block Republicans from codifying Project 2025 — or, at least, the group will try.

“This is going to roll out like a blitzkrieg,” Huffman said. “And if we’re reacting to it, we’re losing.”


Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the current list of liberal organizations backing the project.

Riley Rogerson is a reporter at NOTUS.