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Updated Jun 11, 2024, 4:30pm EDT
politics

House Democrats are planning a resistance playbook for Trump’s return

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The News

Democrats are already preparing to push back against Donald Trump’s use of executive power if he wins control of the Oval Office, with the hope of crafting the sort of pre-written resistance playbook they lacked when he first won office in 2016.

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., is spearheading a task force to oppose Project 2025, the plan crafted by conservative groups to replace much of the current federal bureaucracy with reliably right-wing personnel and pursue dramatic policy changes through administrative fiat.

“Project 2025 is the clearest signal we could possibly ask for in terms of what Trump would do in a second term, and it is alarming in every way,” Huffman told Semafor. “We’ve got work to do to make sure people know about it and make sure they take it seriously.”

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Members of the task force plan to work with advocacy groups like Accountable U.S., Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Center for American Progress on research and disseminating polling, messaging, and organizing round tables within the next three months. Huffman said he’s briefed Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries and expects Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu, Nanette Barragán, Jamie Raskin, Mark Pocan, and Pramila Jayapal to be part of the task force.

The Brennan Center was also mentioned in materials announcing the group, but a spokesman for the legal advocacy organization reached out to say it “isn’t now working with the task force, and it doesn’t have plans to do so” and were not consulted ahead of the announcement.

The Trump campaign has carefully insisted that the proposals contained in Project 2025 do not represent its official positions, even as Democrats have treated them as a blueprint for a GOP government in waiting.

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The initiative, led by the Heritage Foundation, calls for fundamentally reshaping the government by making it easier to fire workers currently classified as civil servants. It would also restructure law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and Department of Homeland Security that have attracted conservative ire, while pushing policy on everything from immigration to abortion in a rightward direction.

“I really think that this is like a Chinese menu of horrible things,” Huffman said of Project 2025.

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Kadia’s view

The fact that Democrats are making contingency plans for a Trump presidency five months before Election Day underscores the anxiety the party is feeling as polls show a tight presidential race, despite the former president’s recent felony conviction. As Huffman told Semafor, the party is worried that a second-term Trump would arrive ready to execute the sorts of plans his fractious, often disorganized White House was unprepared to at the start of its first go-around.

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“They have an agenda ready to go,” Huffman said. “They have come up with, you know, the most strategic, well organized policy blueprint they can put together. And 2016 was nothing like that. So honestly, it’s a huge difference, because this time they are prepared.

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