Understanding the Controversial ‘Project 2025’: What We Know So Far

One of the main strategies that Democrats have been implementing in the lead-up to November’s presidential election is to cast a picture of doom and gloom should presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump get elected.

In recent weeks, the focus of that has turned to what’s known as Project 2025. Even President Joe Biden has begun to invoke that name increasingly, as he tries to show voters just how bad he believes things will be during a second Trump administration term.

But, what exactly is Project 2025?

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative organization, is overseeing the initiative, which has multiple prongs. It was designed to be an in-depth blueprint that the next GOP president could follow to initiate what would be a huge overhaul of the U.S. executive branch, which the president oversees.

At this point, Trump himself has worked to distance himself from the initiative altogether. He even called some of the proposals that are included in it “abysmal.”

Yet, Democrats aren’t giving up — pounding the point home that they believe Project 2025 and a Trump White House go hand in hand.

In essence, Project 2025 is a proposed project for the next presidential transition period, which is the time between when a new president is elected and when he officially is sworn into office.

It’s based on four pillars, including a playbook with actions that the president should take in the first 180 days in office; the “Presidential Administration Academy,” which is essential a training pool for potential candidates who would serve in the administration; a database akin to LinkedIn that would include a list of people who would be good fits to serve under the president; and an overarching policy guide that the next administration should use.

Two former officials in the Trump administration are leading the project. They are Spencer Chretien, who is the associate director of the project and was a special assistant to Trump, and Paul Dans, who is director of the project and was the Office of Personnel Management’s chief of staff under Trump.

While the Heritage Foundation has spearheaded the overall effort, more than 100 other conservative groups are represented on its advisory board.

A large amount of the criticism about Project 2025 revolves around its policy book, which is almost 900 pages long. 

The book, referred to as the “Mandate for Leadership 2025: The Conservative Promise,” it builds on a mandate that was first published back in 1981. That sought to be a roadmap for Ronald Reagan and his administration, which was just entering office.

It’s a sprawling plan that reaches nearly every corner of the executive branch.

When Trump first became president in 2015, the Heritage Foundation created a similar mandate. And only two years into his term, the foundation said Trump instituted 64% of the policy recommendations they made.

That includes taking the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accords, increasing development on federal lands and drilling off-shore, and increasing spending on the military.

Now, liberals everywhere are concerned about how much of Project 2025 Trump could implement if he’s elected president again. So, they’re trying to link him to it as much as possible ahead of November.