Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) introduced an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for 2025 to remove funding for the implementation of President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) on Promoting Access to Voting. The order modernizes the website while providing government agencies with resources to register citizens to vote and ensuring an end-to-end ballot tracking system for all absentee ballots cast by military and other eligible overseas voters.

In her speech, Tenney asserted that the EO was designed to tilt the upcoming election in the Democrats’ favor. However, much of the justification she used sounds like it came out of the Project 2025 playbook. A recent memo from the Heritage Foundation (Heritage) discussing Biden’s EO had already been made public and was recently found in multiple places around the Capitol. If not for it being found in numerous locations, it was almost as if someone had accidentally left the memo lying around.

“…E.O. 14019 is nothing more than a partisan endeavor to register and deliver mass mail-in ballots to historically Democratic party voting constituencies,” reads Heritage’s memo that was made public on May 15.

While Heritage’s memo is intended to provide steps states can take to “frustrate Biden’s federally funded and partisan Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) election interference,” Republican lawmakers in Congress seem to have gleaned enough information from it and other Heritage policy ideas to suppress the implementation of many Biden policies by attempting to remove funding for them (as we have seen multiple times this week).

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) provided some context and clarity to the misinformation being promoted by Tenney.

That didn’t stop Tenney who continued to invoke similar language to that provided by Heritage.

“The partisan political activity inherent in the plans and actions of the federal employees involved raise serious concerns over widespread violations of the Hatch Act. States could aggressively pursue complaints on this ground,” reads Heritage’s memo that was made public on May 15.

Tenney’s rhetoric and the similarities to Heritage and CPI are too similar to ignore. The idea of preventing anything that would help voters get registered falls in line with the policies promoted and implemented by conservative organizations. The idea is to use the legal and the legislative system to deny nonwhite voters their right to vote.

Again, McCollum wasn’t having any of Tenney’s nonsense.

“President Biden signed Executive Order (“E.O.”) 14019, Promoting Access to Voting, on March 7, 2021. The E.O. mobilizes the federal government to interfere in American elections. Section 3 of E.O. 14019 tasks agencies with, among other things, finding “ways to provide access to voter registration services and vote-by-mail ballot applications in the course of activities or services that directly engage with the public,” reads Heritage’s memo that was made public on May 15.

Tenney has been associated with the far-right Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI) for several years. She did a podcast interview on the Who’s Counting with Cleta Mitchell podcast in 2022 to celebrate her work on the House Election Integrity Caucus which Tenney is a co-founder. Mitchell was one of former president Donald Trump’s most impactful lawyers in the election denial scheme and has led a movement to restrict voting rights in dozens of states.

It’s no secret that Rep. Tenney is deeply embedded with Republicans who attempted to challenge the electoral college in former president Donald Trump’s election loss to President Joe Biden in 2020 and who promoted the lie that Trump won the election. While this effort by Tenney may seem innocuous, it’s still worth noting now that Project 2025 is at the forefront of the upcoming election.

Other aspects of Project 2025 that were addressed in the DOD funding bill for 2025 include:

  • Cutting $621.2 million from the President’s Budget Request for climate change initiatives.
  • Cutting $53 million from the President’s Budget Request for diversity and inclusion initiatives.
  • Prohibiting funds to House illegal immigrants on military installations.
  • Prohibiting censoring constitutionally protected speech of Americans.
  • Prohibiting funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion offices.
  • Prohibiting the implementation, administration, or enforcement of the Biden Administration’s executive orders on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
  • Defunding the position of Deputy Inspector General for Diversity and Inclusion and Extremism in the Military and the position of Chief Diversity Officer.
  • Prohibiting the use of funds to perform medical procedures that attempt to change an individual’s biological gender.
  • Prohibiting events on military installations or as part of recruiting programs that bring discredit upon the military, such as a drag queen story hour for children or the use of drag queens as military recruiters.
  • Prohibiting the promotion or advancement of critical race theory (CRT).
  • Prohibiting funding for the President’s controversial climate change executive orders and regulations.
  • Prohibiting paid leave and travel or related expenses of a servicemember or their dependents to obtain an abortion or abortion-related services.
  • Preventing COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates.
  • Prohibiting funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology and EcoHealth Alliance.

As the talk of Project 2025 continues to grow, Republicans are slowly but surely implementing it as we speak through appropriations bills that cut funding to programs they would like to end.

Read Project 2025 Memo to Stop GOTV Efforts

Read the Department of Defense Appropriations Report

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Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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