Skye Perryman Sounds Alarm on Threats to Government’s Ability to Deliver for People During Capitol Hill Hearing

Washington, D.C. – Democracy Forward President and CEO Skye Perryman issued an important warning to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Administrative State, Regulatory Reform, and Antitrust today, testifying to the Subcommittee about threats that could undermine the federal government’s ability to deliver crucial services for people. 

“Attacks on the ability of federal agencies to implement policies as enacted by Congress, attacks on the independence of civil servants, attacks on the independence of administrative administrative law judges, and attacks on bedrock principles of administrative law could have wide sweeping negative consequences to the stability and prosperity of our country,” Perryman said during this morning’s hearing. “Researchers and scholars have warned that everything from our nation’s promise to support quality education, the work that our agencies do to protect our food and drug supply, to worker and public health protections could be weakened by the threats that are arising in litigation filed in federal courts.”

Perryman was one of four witnesses called to testify about how federal agencies enforce laws enacted by Congress; an especially pressing topic given a series of cases in the U.S. Supreme Court docket that will be decided this term, and which could have the potential to undermine the well-being of millions of Americans across the nation as well as the stability of our regulatory system. 

Earlier this year, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two combined cases: Loper Bright Enterprises, Inc. v. Gina Raimondo and Relentless, Inc v. Department of Commerce. This pair of cases (together referred to as “Loper Bright/Relentless”) could have wide-sweeping implications for the government’s ability to deliver for the American people by overturning a long-held legal precedent known as the “Chevron deference”. This legal doctrine says that when Congress passes a law that contains ambiguous or unclear language, judges should defer to the expertise of federal agencies in interpreting that language as long as the agency’s interpretation is reasonable. 

“Overturning Chevron would likely lead to an avalanche of litigation challenging federal agency programs,” Perryman said. “In this way, Loper Bright/Relentless has the potential to radically alter the legal and policy landscape with sweeping implications for millions of Americans, and especially small businesses.”

In addition to discussing threats moving through the federal courts, the subcommittee discussed another significant threat to American democracy, “Project 2025” – an unprecedented effort by special interests to undermine a number of elements in our federal system, including our civil service – the 2.2 million individuals who, every day, in all states across the country, go to work for the people in this nation. 

“Project 2025 proposes to take a number of actions that would undermine the functioning of good government, the ability of the federal government to do the work of the American people, and important protections for our country’s civil workforce,” Perryman told the committee. “It is important that policymakers understand the risks presented by this type of threat not only to the American people but to our overall constitutional order and the work of this legislative body.”

Some of the threats posed by Project 2025 — a coalition led by the Heritage Foundation and more than 80 other organizations — were recently detailed in a report issued by Democracy Forward titled “The Impending Danger to America’s Civil Service.” The report lays out the methodical and wide-ranging plans by far-right organizations and activists to dismantle the civil service under a future anti-democratic administration and additionally highlights how Project 2025 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. 

For a copy of Perryman’s full testimony, please visit:

For more information about Democracy Forward and to read the full civil service report, please visit

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