Washington D.C. – A far-right strategy to purge dedicated civil servants in favor of partisan and political loyalists threatens American democracy, according to a new report released today by Democracy Forward. 

The report, titled “The Impending Danger to America’s Civil Service” details the methodical and wide-ranging plans by far-right organizations and activists to dismantle the civil service under a future anti-democratic administration. The report highlights how Project 2025 — a coalition led by former Trump administration officials, the Heritage Foundation, and more than 80 other organizations — is already reportedly vetting ideologically-aligned workers to replace career civil servants that would be purged by a future, anti-democratic administration, among other tactics to attack the civil service. Project 2025, as well as other aligned organizations, are lending their significant capacity to dismantling the federal civil service, posing a perilous threat to American democracy. 

“Dedicated and impartial civil servants are the backbone of the Federal workforce; they protect the Constitution, implement programs enacted by Congress to help people, and serve the public interest. Efforts to purge the civil service in favor of political loyalists pose a serious threat to people everywhere in America and would make it harder for the government to serve families across the country and deliver the services on which they depend,” said Skye Perryman, President and CEO of Democracy Forward. “This report shines a light on the nefarious tactics being used by the far-right to erode and dismantle the civil service and highlights the imperative for supporting people and communities who are fighting back. Our democracy depends on a civil service corps that is focused on serving people, not politicians.”

In addition to identifying threats to the civil service, the Democracy Forward report also features information about how the pro-democracy community has started to respond to efforts like Project 2025. In November, for example, 26 organizations joined with Democracy Forward to submit comments in support of Office of Personnel Management’s proposed rule: Upholding Civil Service Protections and Merit System Principles. The proposed rule is intended to counter a return of the so-called “Schedule F,” which was a proposal to reclassify large numbers of civil servants into positions from which they could be readily terminated at the end of the Trump administration. Project 2025 specifically mentions plans to reissue Schedule F. 

“It is crucial now to put in place safeguards against future attacks on the civil service,” the report reads. “While preparing for Schedule F is necessary, it is not sufficient to respond to the wide-ranging threats from anti-democratic actors. Their systematic planning must be met with a comparable response. Other serious threats remain.”

For more information about Democracy Forward and to read the full report, please visit www.democracyforward.org/civilservice

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