What does Project 2025 say about veterans benefits?

Project 2025 has continued to gain national attention recently after actress Taraji P. Henson mentioned it during the 2024 BET Awards. 

The initiative, also known as the Presidential Transition Project, is a collection of conservative policy proposals and a "playbook" that offers recommendations for Donald Trump to follow if he is reelected as president in November.

"The 2025 Presidential Transition Project paves the way for an effective conservative administration based on four pillars: a policy agenda, presidential personnel database, presidential administration academy, and playbook for the first 180 days of the next administration," explained the project's organizers, The Heritage Foundation.

RELATED: What is Project 2025?

Trump has worked to distance himself from Project 2025 by posting on his social media website that he "knows nothing" about it. 

President Joe Biden's reelection campaign, meanwhile, is working to drum up more opposition to the agenda, particularly as Biden tries to keep fellow Democrats on board after his uneven debate showing.

"Google Project 2025," Biden posted on social media Tuesday

Project 2025 and veterans care

Project 2025 has a section that calls for reforming the Department of Veteran Affairs.

For starters, the initiative proposes that the Department of Veterans Affairs "rescind all departmental clinical policy directives that are contrary to principles of conservative governance." This would include ending abortion services and gender reassignment surgery. 

Project 2025 states that the Biden administration has weakened veterans care by focusing on "social equity and inclusion" and allowing poor management of its department and facilities. 


Project 2025 organizers believe younger veterans are living longer and there's a need to focus on more "community care" and allow "VA Medical Centers to seek out relevant academic and private sector input in their communities to improve the overall patient experience."

The project is also calling for an audit of the VA to identify any management, financial and infrastructure problems within the VA, even if it leads to budget cuts. 

RELATED: BET Awards 2024: Taraji P. Henson says 'Project 2025 plan is not a game'

In regard to personnel, Project 2025 calls for the undersecretary for health to serve a five-year term and be allowed to be re-appointed to a second term. 

To combat long wait times, Project 2025 wants Veterans Health Administration facilities to see as many as 19 patients a day, claiming that many facilities see as few as six patients. Supporters want facilities to expand their weekday hours and offer Saturday appointments. 

The project also calls on VHA facilities to process claim adjudications and deliver benefits faster. To do so, the project proposes a few measures such as private facilities being allowed to perform disability medical examinations and automating the claims' adjustment process. 

"The best way to provide benefits faster and more accurately is by using technology to perform most of the work," the proposal reads.

Huntington, N.Y.: A military veteran salutes during a ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial, on September 10, 2023, at Heckscher Park, in Huntington, New York, to remember those who perished during the 9/11 terrorists attacks. (Photo by James Carbone/Newsday

What else is in Project 2025?

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative nonprofit that organized the plan in 2022, is "guided by the conservative cause to address and reform the failings of big government and an undemocratic administrative state," according to the website. 

The nearly 1,000-page plan involves having civic infrastructure in place in 2025 to takeover and discard what Republicans claim is a "deep state" bureaucracy, in part by firing as many as 50,000 federal workers, the Associated Press reported last year.

RELATED: Project 2025: What Biden and Trump have said about the proposal for a new government

Some conservatives are pushing to remove federal employees they consider an obstacle to a president’s agenda and want to replace them with individuals whose beliefs are aligned with a Republican president and are willing to undertake a new approach to governing.

According to the AP, if Trump is reelected as president, the plan would also restore Schedule F, an executive order during Trump's first term in office that reclassifies thousands of federal employees as at-will workers who can be fired.

The plan also calls for installing top allies in acting administrative roles to push past senators who attempt to block presidential cabinet nominees. 

What did Taraji P. Henson say about Project 2025?

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 30: Host Taraji P. Henson speaks onstage during the 2024 BET Awards at Peacock Theater on June 30, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)

During the BET Awards, Henson, who hosted the show, implored people to research the term to learn more, FOX 5 Atlanta reported.

"I'm telling y'all, you better show up and show out. I'm being serious now," Henson said as she looked directly into the camera in the middle of the show on June 30. "It's not just about the presidential election, you guys. It's time for us to play chess, not checkers."

"I'm not trying to scare us, I'm trying to inform us," Henson continued. "I'm talking to the mad people who don't want to vote. You're gonna be mad about a lot of things if you don't vote."

Does Trump support Project 2025?

Since some of the people involved in Project 2025 are former senior Trump administration officials, many are wondering if the former president himself supports the movement. 

"I have no idea who is behind it. I disagree with some of the things they’re saying and some of the things they’re saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal. Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them," Trump wrote. 

The project’s director is Paul Dans, who served as chief of staff at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under Trump. Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt was featured in one of Project 2025's videos. John McEntee, a former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office in the Trump administration, is a senior adviser. The chapter on the Department of Homeland Security was written by a team led by former assistant acting DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli.

Project 2025 said in a statement it is not tied to a specific candidate or campaign.

"We are a coalition of more than 110 conservative groups advocating policy and personnel recommendations for the next conservative president," it said. "But it is ultimately up to that president, who we believe will be President Trump, to decide which recommendations to implement."

Biden’s response to Project 2025

Biden continues to attempt to link Trump to Project 2025. 

"He’s trying to hide his connections to his allies’ extreme Project 2025 agenda," Biden said of Trump in a statement released by his campaign. "The only problem? It was written for him, by those closest to him. Project 2025 should scare every single American."

FOX 5 Atlanta contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles, Detroit and Washington, D.C.