image of Donald Trump with text "Project 2025"
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A guide to Project 2025, the extreme right-wing agenda for the next Republican administration

Project 2025 aims to roll back civil rights and destroy the federal government, among other proposals

Project 2025, a comprehensive transition plan organized by right-wing think tank The Heritage Foundation to guide the next GOP presidential administration, is the conservative movement’s most robust policy and staffing proposal for a potential second Trump White House — and its extreme agenda represents a threat to democracy, civil rights, the climate, and more. 

Project 2025 focuses on packing the next GOP administration with extreme loyalists to former President Donald Trump. 

The plan aims to reinstate Schedule F, a Trump-era executive order that makes federal employees fireable at-will, stripping tens of thousands of employees of civil service protections. Both Trump and others in the conservative movement have said they will clear out the federal government if he is reelected. The project has even set up online trainings and loyalty tests to narrow down potential hires to those who will commit to follow Trump without question. As Project 2025 senior adviser John McEntee has said, “The number one thing you're looking for is people that are aligned with the agenda.”

The Heritage Foundation’s nearly 900-page policy book, titled Mandate for Leadership: A Conservative Promise, describes Project 2025’s priorities and how they would be implemented, broken down by departments in the federal bureaucracy and organized around “four pillars that will, collectively, pave the way for an effective conservative administration: a policy agenda, personnel, training, and a 180-day playbook.” Written primarily by former Trump officials and conservative commentators connected to The Heritage Foundation, these proposals would severely inhibit the federal government’s protections around reproductive rights, LGBTQ and civil rights, and immigration, as well as its climate change efforts.

The initiative is backed by a coalition of over 100 organizations and individuals, at least two-thirds of which receive funding from the Koch network or conservative philanthropist Leonard Leo. The project is also heavily promoted by MAGA-connected media figures such as Steve Bannon, who has called it the “blueprint” for Trump's second term on his War Room podcast. 

The Trump campaign has attempted to distance itself from efforts to promote or speculate about “future presidential staffing or policy announcements.” However, Project 2025 is significantly more developed than the Trump campaign’s analog initiative, called Agenda47. And given that the Heritage plan has the backing of virtually the entire conservative movement and links to numerous former Trump officials and advisers, it appears all but inevitable that Trump and his allies will rely on the policies and personnel assembled by Project 2025 if he is reelected in November. 

This resource outlines the specific policy and personnel priorities of Project 2025 for the next Republican administration. For more of Media Matters' research on Project 2025, click here.

Update (7/1/24): This piece has been updated with another policy priority and related examples. 

  • Personnel and staffing

  • Project 2025’s goals for staffing the next GOP presidency reflect Trump’s idea to gut civil service staff and replace them with potentially tens of thousands of MAGA loyalists. The New York Times describes this plot for a second Trump administration as an “expansion of presidential power over the machinery of government” that would reshape “the structure of the executive branch to concentrate far greater authority directly in his hands.”

    • One of the key elements of Project 2025’s administrative goals is to reinstate the executive order known as Schedule F. This would reclassify thousands of federal employees as “at-will” workers and give the administration the ability to fire employees who don’t agree with or follow the extremist policies suggested by Project 2025. [PBS, 8/29/23]
    • Project 2025 has created a training “academy” for potential employees of the next administration, which “provides aspiring appointees with the insight, background knowledge, and expertise in governance to immediately begin rolling back destructive policy and advancing conservative ideas in the federal government.” The goal of the training, which currently consists of four online courses on subjects such as “Conservative Governance 101” and “The Administrative State & The Regulatory Process,” is “to prepare and equip future political appointees now to be ready on Day One of the next conservative Administration.” [Project 2025 Presidential Administration Academy, accessed 3/18/24]
    • Project 2025 makes it clear the Department of Justice is not independent from the executive branch and implies the agency will be used to take legal retribution against whoever Trump decides to investigate. [The Nation, 2/8/24]
    • Project 2025 Director Paul Dans recently appeared on Steve Bannon’s War Room and encouraged viewers of the far-right broadcast to send in their resumes and participate in Project 2025’s trainings in an effort to recruit extreme loyalists to the next GOP administration. [Real America’s Voice, War Room, 2/29/24]
  • Christian nationalism

  • Project 2025 aims to put Christianity at the center of American government and society by turning a biblical worldview into federal law, often employing Christian nationalist talking points and narratives to support its right-wing policy proposals. In his foreword to the book, for instance, Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts claims that “the Left is threatening the tax-exempt status of churches and charities that reject woke progressivism,” adding that “they will soon turn to Christian schools and clubs with the same totalitarian intent.” Project 2025 is partnered with the Center for Renewing America, the primary Christian nationalist political organization in the U.S., led by former Trump official and Heritage alumnus Russ Vought. 

    • Vought’s Center for Renewing America, headed by one of Project 2025’s top advisers, reportedly listed “Christian nationalism” as one of the major priorities of a second Trump term. The CRA is listed among Project 2025’s advisory board member organizations. [Politico, 2/20/24; Project 2025 Advisory Board, accessed 3/18/24]
    • In discussing plans for the “well-being of the American family,” Project 2025 claims that centralized government “subverts” families by working to “replace people’s natural loves and loyalties with unnatural ones,” utilizing the biblical language of natural versus the unnatural. Roberts’ foreword for Project 2025 attacking the “noxious tenets” of “gender ideology” similarly argues, “These theories poison our children, who are being taught … to deny the very creatureliness that inheres in being human and consists in accepting the givenness of our nature as men or women.” [Salon, 3/1/24; Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023
    • In the chapter on the Department of Health and Human Services, former Trump HHS official Roger Severino advocates for a future conservative executive to “maintain a biblically based, social science-reinforced definition of marriage and family,” while arguing that “families comprised of a married mother, father, and their children are the foundation of a well-ordered nation and healthy society.” Severino specifically objects to “nonreligious definitions of marriage and family as put forward by the recently enacted Respect for Marriage Act,” claiming that “all other family forms” apart from “heterosexual, intact marriage … involve higher levels of instability.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023; MSNBC, 9/8/23]
    • Former Trump official Jonathan Berry’s chapter on the Department of Labor states that “the Judeo-Christian tradition, stretching back to Genesis, has always recognized fruitful work as integral to human dignity, as service to God, neighbor, and family” and claims that Biden’s administration is “hostile to people of faith.” [MSNBC, 9/8/23]
  • Reproductive rights

  • Project 2025 aims for the next conservative administration to attack reproductive rights from several angles, including by removing the term “abortion” from all federal laws and regulations, reversing abortion pill approval, punishing providers by withdrawing federal health funding, and restricting clinics that provide contraception and STD testing. Project 2025 has collaborated with extremist anti-abortion groups such as Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, Students for Life of America, and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

    • Project 2025 suggests the next conservative administration strike any mention of abortion from government laws, policies, and regulations. In the foreword of the Project 2025 policy book, Heritage President Kevin Roberts writes that a pro-life administration starts by removing the terms “abortion, reproductive health, [and] reproductive rights,” among others, “out of every federal rule, agency regulation, contract, grant, regulation, and piece of legislation that exists.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Project 2025 suggests the next conservative administration reinstate the Comstock Act to ban and track and limit “mail-order abortions.” The New Republic report explains that right-wing groups see the Comstock Act “as a way to ban abortion nationally because it outlaws the use of the mail for the purposes of sending or receiving any object that could be used for an abortion.” [The New Republic, 2/8/24; Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Project 2025 would have the next GOP administration restructure Medicaid to avoid providing reproductive health care and penalize providers who do. The policy book instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to “issue guidance reemphasizing that states are free to defund Planned Parenthood in their state Medicaid plans” and “propose rulemaking to interpret the Medicaid statute to disqualify providers of elective abortion.” It also recommends withdrawing Medicaid funding from “states that require abortion insurance or that discriminate in violation of the Weldon Amendment,” which “declares that no HHS funding may go to a state or local government that discriminates against pro-life health entities or insurers.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Project 2025 also suggests restoring Trump-era “religious and moral exemptions to the contraceptive mandate” through the Affordable Care Act that would allow employers to deny coverage. The policy book also proposes requiring education on “fertility awareness-based” methods of contraception and family planning and suggests eliminating condoms from Health Resources & Service Administration guidelines because they are not a “women’s” preventative service. [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accessed 3/19/24]

    • The policy book directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to eliminate any programs or projects that are deemed pro-abortion. In a report detailing Project 2025’s proposed crackdown on reproductive and LGBTQ rights, The New Republic writes that Heritage recommends the next conservative administration direct the CDC to “eliminate programs and projects that do not respect human life and conscience rights and that undermine family formation.” This includes ensuring the CDC “is not promoting abortion as health care” and instead pivots to “a research agenda that supports pro-life policies and explores the harms, both mental and physical, that abortion has wrought on women and girls.” [The New Republic, 2/8/24]
    • Heritage directs the administration to roll back Biden-era policies that allowed abortion access “in some circumstances at VA hospitals.” In its chapter on the Department of Defense, the book recommends reversing policies that allow “the use of public monies … to facilitate abortion for servicemembers.” [Politico, 1/29/24; Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Project 2025 intends to undo Title X protections for reproductive health care, which currently provide low-cost contraception, STD screenings, and prenatal care to low-income people. Though Title X funding has “never been used for abortion services,” restrictions sought by Project 2025 would prohibit “comprehensive counseling” on all of a pregnant person’s options. The policy book also calls on Congress to pass “the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would prohibit family planning grants from going to entities that perform abortions or provide funding to other entities that perform abortions. This would help to protect the integrity of the Title X program even under an abortion-friendly Administration.” [Politico, 1/29/24; Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]  
    • The policy book subtly promotes anti-surrogacy positions, writing that “all children have a right to be raised by the men and women who conceived them.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023
    • Project 2025 aims to reinstate an expanded, Trump-era version of a longtime Republican presidential policy barring nongovernmental organizations receiving U.S. aid from providing abortion services or advocating for legal abortion. The Mexico City policy was rescinded by the Biden administration in 2021. [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023; KFF, 1/28/21
    • The policy book would reverse a Biden administration policy that requires hospitals to offer abortions in medical emergencies regardless of state bans. [Politico, 1/29/24
    • Project 2025 aims to end all fetal cell research and “ensure that abortion and embryo-destructive related research … become both fully obsolete and ethically unthinkable.” [The Hill, 2/26/24; Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
  • Department of Justice and federal law enforcement

  • In the eyes of pro-Trump Republicans and their right-wing media allies, the Department of Justice and the FBI have long been corrupted by left-wing ideology and the bureaucratic “deep state.” Now, Project 2025 seeks to radically reshape federal law enforcement for the benefit of a conservative strongman; its chapter by former Trump DOJ official Gene Hamilton states that “anything other than a top-to-bottom overhaul will only further erode the trust of significant portions of the American people and harm the very fabric that holds together our constitutional republic.” These views reflect the various conservative legal organizations that have partnered with Project 2025, such as former Trump adviser Stephen Miller’s America First Legal (where Hamilton currently works as vice president and general counsel), Carrie Severino’s Judicial Crisis Network, and the American Center for Law and Justice

    • Project 2025 claims that “the DOJ has become a bloated bureaucracy with a critical core of personnel who are infatuated with the perpetuation of a radical liberal agenda and the defeat of perceived political enemies.” Instead, the policy book states that “litigation decisions must be made consistent with the President’s agenda.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Citing the FBI’s handling of “the Russia hoax of 2016, Big Tech collusion, and suppression of Hunter Biden’s laptop in 2020,” Project 2025 calls for a future GOP administration to immediately review all major FBI investigations “and terminate any that are unlawful or contrary to the national interest.” It also calls for prohibiting “the FBI from engaging, in general, in activities related to combating the spread of so-called misinformation and disinformation by Americans who are not tied to any plausible criminal activity,” referencing federal law enforcement’s response to January 6 insurrectionists and far-right domestic actors. [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Project 2025 also suggests eliminating the FBI director’s 10-year term limit established by Congress, claiming the position “must remain politically accountable to the President in the same manner as the head of any other federal department or agency.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Complaining that federal law enforcement agencies spend too much time going after parents, Project 2025 calls for a renewal in the department’s focus on violent crime. Hamilton’s chapter claims: “The FBI harasses protesting parents (branded ‘domestic terrorists’ by some partisans) while working diligently to shut down politically disfavored speech on the pretext of its being ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation.’” The false talking point about the DOJ targeting parents was spearheaded by the conservative movement after the National School Boards Association issued a memo detailing “acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials” in response to false information about critical race theory and mask requirements. [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023; Media Matters, 9/27/22]
    • Project 2025 calls for initiating legal action against progressive prosecutors, citing local government officials who supposedly “deny American citizens the ‘equal protection of the laws’ by refusing to prosecute criminal offenses in their jurisdictions.” It adds, “This holds true particularly for jurisdictions that refuse to enforce the law against criminals based on the Left’s favored defining characteristics of the would-be offender (race, so-called gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.) or other political considerations (e.g., immigration status).” Heritage and its president, Kevin Roberts, have previously called for “crushing the rogue prosecutor movement.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023; The Heritage Foundation, The Kevin Roberts Show, 7/26/23]
    • Project 2025 proposes the next conservative president should “enforce the death penalty where appropriate and applicable.” The policy book also euphemistically calls for “the next conservative Administration” to “do everything possible to obtain finality for the 44 prisoners currently on federal death row.” During the final months of his administration, Trump rushed 13 federal executions in 2020 — “an unprecedented clip” compared to the combined total of three federal executions in the preceding 60 years. [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023; Rolling Stone, 1/27/23
    • Project 2025 claims that the Biden administration “has enshrined affirmative discrimination in all aspects of its operations under the guise of ‘equity’” and vows to “reverse this trend” by attacking “so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices that have become the vehicles for this unlawful discrimination.” The Heritage policy book suggests that the DOJ’s “Civil Rights Division should spend its first year under the next Administration using the full force of federal prosecutorial resources to investigate and prosecute all state and local governments, institutions of higher education, corporations, and any other private employers who are engaged in discrimination in violation of constitutional and legal requirements.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Project 2025 calls to reassign election-related offenses to the Criminal Division of the DOJ rather than the Civil Rights Division, claiming, “Otherwise, voter registration fraud and unlawful ballot correction will remain federal election offenses that are never appropriately investigated and prosecuted.” This change would allow a second Trump administration to provide more resources for investigations into bogus claims of voter fraud and bolster efforts to overturn future election results. [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023; Mother Jones, 9/14/24; Media Matters, 3/5/24]
  • LGBTQ rights

  • Project 2025 takes extreme positions against LGBTQ rights, seeking to eliminate federal protections for queer people and pursue research into conversion therapies in order to encourage gender and sexuality conformity. The policy book also lays out plans to criminalize being transgender and prohibit federal programs from supporting queer people through various policies. The project partnered with anti-LGBTQ groups the Family Policy Alliance, the Center for Family and Human Rights, and the Family Research Council.

    • Project 2025 calls for the next secretary of Health and Human Services to “immediately put an end to the department’s foray into woke transgender activism,” which includes removing terms related to gender and sexual identity from “every federal rule, agency regulation, contract, grant, regulation, and piece of legislation that exists.” The Trump administration proposed a similar idea in 2018 that would have resulted in trans people losing protections under anti-discrimination laws. [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023; The New Republic, 2/8/24]
    • Similarly, the policy book calls for HHS to stop all research related to gender identity unless the purpose is conformity to one's sex assigned at birth. The New Republic explains: “That is, research on gender-nonconforming children and teenagers should be funded by the government, but only for the purpose of studying what will make them conform, such as denying them gender-affirming care and instead trying to change their identities through ‘counseling,’ which is a form of conversion therapy.” [The New Republic, 2/8/24]
    • The policy book’s foreword by Kevin Roberts describes “the omnipresent propagation of transgender ideology and sexualization of children” as “pornography” that “should be outlawed,” adding, “The people who produce and distribute it should be imprisoned.” Roberts also says that “educators and public librarians who purvey it should be classed as registered sex offenders. And telecommunications and technology firms that facilitate its spread should be shuttered.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Roberts’ foreword states that “allowing parents or physicians to ‘reassign’ the sex of a minor is child abuse and must end.” Echoing ongoing right-wing attacks on trans athletes, Roberts also claims, “Bureaucrats at the Department of Justice force school districts to undermine girls’ sports and parents’ rights to satisfy transgender extremists.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023; TIME magazine, 5/16/22]
    • Dame Magazine reports that Project 2025 plans to use the Department of Justice to crack down on states that “do not charge LGBTQ people and their allies with crimes under the pretense that they are breaking federal and state laws against exposing minors to pornography.” [Dame Magazine, 8/14/23]
    • Project 2025 also calls for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to repeat “its 2016 decision that CMS could not issue a National Coverage Determination (NCD) regarding ‘gender reassignment surgery’ for Medicare beneficiaries.” The policy book’s HHS chapter continues: “In doing so, CMS should acknowledge the growing body of evidence that such interventions are dangerous and acknowledge that there is insufficient scientific evidence to support such coverage in state plans.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Going further, Project 2025 also demands that the next GOP administration “reverse policies that allow transgender individuals to serve in the military.” The policy book’s chapter on the Defense Department claims: “Gender dysphoria is incompatible with the demands of military service, and the use of public monies for transgender surgeries … for servicemembers should be ended.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
  • Climate change

  • Project 2025 would eliminate environmental protections and further delay climate action. In the foreword, Heritage President Kevin Roberts calls environmentalism a “pseudo-religion,” claiming “environmental extremism is decidedly anti-human” because it promotes “population control and economic regression” by “regarding human activity itself as fundamentally a threat to be sacrificed to the god of nature.” Project 2025 is supported by climate change-denying organizations The Heartland Institute and the Institute for Energy Research.

    • The Department of Energy chapter in the policy book, written by former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission head Bernard McNamee, calls for “eliminating three agency offices that are crucial for the energy transition” and reducing funding to different agencies related to renewable energy. McNamee also calls for cutting the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, and the Loan Programs Office. [The Guardian, 7/27/23; Politico, 7/28/23]
    • An entire chapter dedicated to the Environmental Protection Agency, written by former Trump EPA chief of staff Mandy Gunasekara, calls for shrinking the agency by firing new hires and eliminating the environmental justice department. The policy book supports reviving Trump-era EPA provisions and investigating grants to ensure money is going to organizations that support the administration’s policy agenda. [The Guardian, 7/27/23; E&E News, 2/26/24
    • In a chapter on the U.S. Agency for International Development, Heritage research fellow and Trump’s former chief operating officer of USAID Max Primorac suggests the next administration “rescind all climate policies from its foreign aid programs” and shut down any offices or departments connected to the Paris Climate Agreement. Project 2025 also suggests eliminating or curtailing funding to dozens of federal programs or offices related to climate change. [Heatmap News, 2/15/24
    • The policy book recommends reopening the Arctic for oil drilling, expanding other drilling projects, and leasing land in western states for coal mining. [Heatmap News, 2/15/24]
  • Immigration

  • Project 2025 proposes to severely roll back both legal and unauthorized immigration through a number of untested, novel approaches that extend far beyond the policies of Trump’s first term. The plan would potentially make hundreds of thousands of people vulnerable to deportation through the loss of temporary protected status, and could ensnare their families, those they live with, and other members of their communities. Extreme anti-immigration organization the Center for Immigration Studies has partnered with Project 2025 in supporting these radical immigration policy ideas. 

    • Project 2025 aims to severely restrict legal immigration to the United States by dismantling the DREAM Act and restricting the DACA program, limiting temporary work visas from countries not on the current eligibility list, and increasing processing and application fees for migrants. [Niskanen Center, 2/20/24
    • The policy book also suggests restricting T visas, which are temporary visas for certain victims of human trafficking, and U visas, which are given to victims of crimes that occur in the U.S. [Niskanen Center, 2/20/24
    • Project 2025 suggests adding a citizenship question to the national census, something that the Trump administration attempted in 2019 but which was blocked by the Supreme Court. As NPR noted, “The plan also calls for aligning the mission of the government agency in charge of the next tally of the country's residents with ‘conservative principles.’” [NPR, 10/28/23]
    • Project 2025 calls on the DOJ to “pursue appropriate steps to assist the Department of Homeland Security in obtaining information about criminal aliens in jurisdictions across the United States, particularly those inside ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Project 2025 calls for a massive increase in the authority of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, including ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations. ICE deportation officers should prioritize “the civil arrest, detention, and removal of immigration violators anywhere in the United States, without warrant where appropriate, subject only to the civil warrant requirements of the INA [Immigration and Nationality Act] where appropriate.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Even people who are simply adjacent to unauthorized immigrants could be punished. Project 2025 would “bar U.S. citizens from qualifying for federal housing subsidies if they live with anyone who is not a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.” [Niskanen Center, 2/20/24]
    • Under Project 2025, “The next Republican administration … would also strip hundreds of thousands of individuals, many of whom have been in the U.S. for decades, of their legal protections by repealing all Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations.” The Niskanen Center writes, “Nearly 700,000 individuals would lose legal protections and work authorization by repealing all active TPS designations.” [Niskanen Center, 2/20/24]
  • Education

  • Project 2025’s proposal for America’s education system would be one of the most extreme plans yet, calling for eliminating the Department of Education, getting rid of all teachers unions, and tearing down regulations on education spending. Far-right “parental rights” organization Moms for Liberty and the anti-union Institute for Education Reform have partnered with Project 2025 to create these proposals.

    • The first sentence of Project 2025’s chapter on the Department of Education simply states: “Federal education policy should be limited and, ultimately, the federal Department of Education should be eliminated.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023
    • Citing “the path outlined by Milton Friedman in 1955,” Heritage’s Lindsey Burke advocates for American education through school vouchers, claiming, “Ultimately, every parent should have the option to direct his or her child’s share of education funding through an education savings account (ESA), funded overwhelmingly by state and local taxpayers, which would empower parents to choose a set of education options that meet their child's unique needs.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Project 2025 seeks to eliminate the National Education Association’s congressional charter, which allows for the existence of teachers unions, calling it “a demonstrably radical special interest group that overwhelmingly supports left-of-center policies and policymakers.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • The plan also wants to remove federal oversight for funds under Title 1, “which provides support for low-income districts,” instead handling them as “no-strings-attached” state grants “with no regulation or oversight.” Federal education funding for students with special needs would “also be converted to unregulated block grants.” [Bucks County Beacon, 11/20/23]
    • The proposal also aims at eliminating any policies implemented under the Obama administration that support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives or so-called “critical race theory,” arguing that CRT specifically disrupts “the values that hold communities together such as equality under the law and colorblindness.” [Bucks County Beacon, 11/20/23; Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

  • Project 2025’s Mandate for Leadership advises the next administration to rid federal rules and legislation of the term “diversity, equity, and inclusion” or “DEI.” The mandate also outlines the ways in which DEI efforts supposedly undermine the purpose of several federal agencies, ignoring the tangible benefits of a diverse workforce in the government.  Project 2025 has collaborated with other groups leading the anti-DEI crusade including right-wing nonprofit the Claremont Institute and anti-critical race theory group Moms for Liberty.

    • In the foreword to the Mandate for Leadership, Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts calls for the deletion of DEI “out of every federal rule, agency regulation, contract, grant, regulation, and piece of legislation that exists.” He states, “The next conservative President must make the institutions of American civil society hard targets for woke culture warriors. This starts with deleting the terms … used to deprive Americans of their First Amendment rights out of every federal rule, agency regulation, contract, grant, regulation, and piece of legislation that exists.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Project 2025 calls for investigating and prosecuting discrimination perpetuated by “so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices.” The Heritage Foundation policy book argues that the DOJ’s “Civil Rights Division should spend its first year under the next Administration using the full force of federal prosecutorial resources to investigate and prosecute all state and local governments, institutions of higher education, corporations, and any other private employers who are engaged in discrimination in violation of constitutional and legal requirements.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • According to the mandate, the U.S. Army’s focus on DEI is a detriment to its “core warfighting mission.” It states: “The status quo is further marked by a pervasive politically driven top-down focus on progressive social policies that emphasize matters like so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion and climate change, often to the detriment of the Army’s core warfighting mission.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • The manual later argues that the U.S. Agency for International Development’s DEI apparatus should be dismantled. It calls for “eliminating the Chief Diversity Officer position along with the DEI advisers and committees; cancel[ing] the DEI scorecard and dashboard; remov[ing] DEI requirements from contract and grant tenders and awards; issu[ing] a directive to cease promotion of the DEI agenda, including the bullying LGBTQ+ agenda; and provid[ing] staff a confidential medium through which to adjudicate cases of political retaliation that agency or implementing staff suffered during the Biden Administration.” The book also argues for the elimination of “funding for partners that promote discriminatory DEI practices and consider debarment in egregious cases.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • The manual also argues that the Higher Education Act of 1965 should be amended so higher education accreditation agencies are not allowed to “[leverage] their Title IV gatekeeper role to mandate that educational institutions adopt diversity, equity, and inclusion policies.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Authors call for the next conservative administration to “treat the participation [of Treasury Department officials] in any critical race theory or DEI initiative, without objecting on constitutional or moral grounds, as per se grounds for termination of employment.” The plan outlines details on how to “take affirmative steps to expose and eradicate the practice of critical race theory and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout the Treasury Department,” including identifying ”every treasury official who participated in DEI initiatives and interview[ing] him or her for the purpose of determining the scope and nature of these initiatives and to ensure that such initiatives are completely ended." [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • They also recommend eliminating official DEI roles and a related committee in the Treasury Department. According to the mandate, “Under the Biden Administration, the Treasury Department has appointed a Counselor for Racial Equity, established an Advisory Committee on Racial Equity, and created an office for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility. All these should be eliminated.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
  • U.S. military and Department of Defense

  • Project 2025’s suggestions for the U.S. military include ending the “Left’s social experimentation with the military” and drastically expanding funding. The chapter on the Department of Defense, written by Christopher Miller, the former acting secretary of defense under Trump, calls the DOD a “deeply troubled institution” and says  “the Biden Administration’s profoundly unserious equity agenda and vaccine mandates” along with “sustained misuse” have “taken a serious toll.” These sentiments have been echoed by Project 2025 partner organizations The Heritage Foundation and the Center for Military Readiness have both published pieces complaining about DEI and “woke culture war issues” in the military under the Biden administration. 

    Miller, who has received praise from Trump, who has also said he may hire Miller again to serve in his potential second Cabinet, has suggested introducing a national service requirement in order to fix the military's recruitment issues, calling it a “rite of passage” for young people. It’s been estimated that Miller’s proposals in the Mandate for Leadership book would expand the Pentagon’s budget by hundreds of billions of dollars. 

    • Christopher Miller’s chapter on the Department of Defense in Mandate for Leadership includes various ways to “eliminate politicization” in the military, calling for eliminating supposed “Marxist indoctrination and divisive critical race theory programs” as well as “newly established diversity, equity, and inclusion offices and staff.” Miller also suggests auditing courses at military academies for “Marxist indoctrination.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Mandate for Leadership calls for the U.S. government to heavily militarize the border, listing it as the number three priority for the DOD. The chapter on the Department of Homeland Security suggests having the DOD “assist in aggressively building the border wall system” and “using military personnel and hardware to prevent illegal crossings between ports of entry.” The Department of Justice chapter suggests that “active-duty military personnel and National Guardsmen” could “assist in arrest operations along the border.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • The policy book repeatedly calls for the military to prioritize fast-tracking new technology to reach the hands of soldiers over existing regulations. Across the entire military, Miller suggests new innovation should “bypass unnecessary departmental regulations” and there should be an effort to “accelerate the prototyping cycle to meet immediate battlefield needs.” Specifically in regards to the U.S. Navy, Miller writes that it should “harness innovation and willingness to tolerate risk so that ‘good enough’ systems can be fielded rapidly.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Miller also suggests in the policy book that public schools must require students to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery to receive any federal funding in an effort to increase recruiting. About a decade ago, the military reported that more than 900 schools in the country said they required students to take the test, though many other schools ask students to take it. Some have criticized the testing, which was sometimes done without parent permission, with results sent to military recruiters without student or parent permission. One student told The Washington Post that she  was “tricked” into taking the test, which was identified just by the acronym ASVAB. [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023; The Washington Post, 6/13/24; NPR, 7/30/10]
    • A section proposing actions to “restore standards of lethality and excellence” suggests that the military remove “exceptions for individuals who are already predisposed to require medical treatment (for example, HIV positive or suffering from gender dysphoria)” from entrance criteria that currently allow them to serve. [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • It also proposes that “those with gender dysphoria should be expelled from military service.” Miller adds later in the chapter that the military must “reverse policies that allow transgender individuals to serve in the military” in a section about how to “eliminate politicization, reestablish trust and accountability, and restore faith to the force.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Alongside expelling any transgender or gender-dysphoric individuals from the military, the policy book proposes halting provision of federal funding “for transgender surgeries or to facilitate abortion for servicemembers.” This proposal is repeated in the Department of Veteran Affairs section of Mandate, which states that the VA should rescind policies that “are contrary to principles of conservative governance starting with abortion services and gender reassignment surgery.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Miller also suggests the military reinstate any service members who were discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, “restore their appropriate rank, and provide back pay.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • The policy book calls for the DOD to audit military schools’ curricula and health policies and to “remove all inappropriate materials, and reverse inappropriate policies.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • In the DOD chapter of Mandate, Miller proposes ending U.S. Cyber Command’s “participation in federal efforts to ‘fortify’ U.S. elections to eliminate the perception that DOD is engaging in partisan politics.” U.S. Cyber Command works with the National Security Agency to support DHS and the FBI “in collecting, declassifying and sharing vital information about foreign adversaries to enable domestic efforts in election security.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023; Department of Defense, 8/25/22]
    • In a Mandate chapter on the executive office, Russ Vought proposes the National Security Council review all “general and flag officer” military promotions in order to “prioritize the core roles and responsibilities of the military over social engineering and non-defense matters, including climate change, critical race theory, manufactured extremism, and other polarizing policies that weaken our armed forces.” The policy book also suggested reviewing all U.S. Coast Guard promotions and hiring made “on the Biden Administration’s watch” and “stop the messaging on wokeness and diversity and focus instead on attracting the best talent for USCG.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • Complaining that the Pentagon is “woke,” Project 2025 proposes moving the National Defense Strategy from the responsibility of the DOD to under the White House and National Security Council, which, under the policy book recommendations, would view climate change as a “polarizing polic[y] that weaken our armed forces.” Mandate also suggests blocking the Army from incorporating climate change into any decision making. [Politico, E&E News, 3/15/24; Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • The policy book calls for disciplining service members who “use an official command channel” on social media “to engage with civilian critics on social media.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]
    • The intelligence community chapter of Mandate suggests that the president consider using the DOD for “covert actions” prior to the currently required “initiation of armed conflict.” [Project 2025, Mandate for Leadership, 2023]