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June 27, 2024

VIDEO: Pressley Uplifts Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Slams Project 2025 Plans to Weaken Agency That Combats Workplace Discrimination

Far-Right Manifesto Project 2025 Would Sabotage EEOC, Rewrite Civil Rights Act of 1964, Push America Back to Jim Crow Era Racism

Video (YouTube)

WASHINGTON – Today, in a House Oversight Committee hearing, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) discussed the importance of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which combats discrimination in the workplace, and sharply criticized the harmful impact that far-right manifesto Project 2025 would have on the Department of Labor, the EEOC, and vulnerable workers.

Rep. Pressley was recently announced as a founding member of a Congressional Task Force designed to stop Project 2025, a thousand-page blueprint for Donald Trump to seize “supreme” powers and radically undermine reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality, racial justice, free speech, and other democratic institutions and freedoms.

A transcript of Rep. Pressley’s line of questioning is available below and the full video is available here.

Transcript: Pressley Uplifts EEOC, Slams Project 2025 Plans to Weaken Agency That Combats Workplace Discrimination
House Committee on Oversight and Accountability
June 27, 2024

REP. PRESSLEY: Thank you to our witnesses for being here today. You know, although the subject matter of today’s hearing is to be expected, it certainly makes it no less offensive or frightening.

My Republican colleagues very often like to quote Dr. King. I don’t know maybe for some faux civil rights credibility or to pervert his words to suit your extremist needs while working actively to undermine his legislative legacy.

Republican attacks on the EEOC are part of their broader efforts to weaken civil rights protections. One of their goals plainly laid out in Project 2025, a 1000-page bucket list of extremist policies.

Mr. Berry, chapter 18 of the project 2025 manifesto is about the Department of Labor. And you are the author of that chapter. Correct?

MR. BERRY: Lead author, yes. There’s others too.

REP. PRESSLEY: Yes, you are. I believe the American public should know exactly how you and the Republican majority that invited you to testify today want to sabotage the EEOC, rewrite the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and push all of us back to an era of Jim Crow racism.

I’m shocked that my colleague across the aisle was in disbelief at our characterizations, and assertions of racism and discrimination when even former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said the Republican side of the aisle looked like the most restrictive country club in America….

On the first page of Chapter 18, Project 2025 complains about how the Biden administration has been fighting for racial equity.

On the next page, it calls for eliminating data collection on race and ethnicity in employment. On the page after that, it calls for rescinding an executive order signed in 1965 that prohibits discrimination in hiring by contractors.

Mr. Berry, do these terrible ideas sound familiar?

MR. BERRY: They’re great ideas.

REP. PRESSLEY: These terrible ideas sound familiar? Of course they do. You came up with them.

Mr. Berry, I find it shameful to advance a vision attacking the very policies and agencies that have helped Black Americans secure jobs, earn a living, and provide for our families.

This Project 2025 plan is policy violence, plain and simple. Its authors have placed such a large target on the EEOC because of the incredible work the EEOC is doing today.

Last year alone, the agency found more than 27,000 charges of race-based discrimination. These workers and their families have a pathway to justice, accountability, and healing because of the policies and regulations that Project 2025 is trying to get rid of.

Miss Wiley, how would workers be harmed by Project 2025’s commitment to undermining crucial protections that are enforced by EEOC and other federal agencies?

MS. WILEY: Well, essentially, it guts the ability to both be able to have the rights and have enforcement and protection of the rights that we already have.

And we’ve been seeing improvements and advancements when we have been enforcing them. And I’m also deeply concerned with any suggestion that we should not be collecting data, or that labor rights, the rights to organize, which has been so important for workers across race, including white men, to ensure that they’re getting fair wages and safe working conditions.

All of these are actually in that chapter, and they threaten our workplaces for people who are white, for people of color, for people of all backgrounds in this country.

And I think that’s why we all need to be concerned because it really is about all of us.

REP. PRESSLEY: That’s right. They threaten our workplaces for every person who calls this country home. EEOC offers essential protections that create workplaces where all of us can thrive, but Project 2025 aspires to be the realization of a decades-long crusade by Republicans to strip away this key pillar of the Civil Rights Act.

As a founding member of the Stop Project 2025 Task Force, I look forward to showing and telling the American people exactly who you are, Mr. Berry, along with your extremist friends.

I urge my colleagues to join me in building the inclusive world we know to be possible, one in which everyone – is there something funny?


REP. PRESSLEY: I didn’t think so.Nothing funny about this. And in honor of my departed mother, and for my 15-year-old daughter, I will do everything possible to stop you from building the world that you were hellbent on doing.

I urge my colleagues to join me in building an inclusive world we know to be possible. One in which everyone can show up to work free from discrimination.

Thank you. I yield back.

As a member of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Pressley has repeatedly sounded the alarm on Project 2025, a bucket list extremist policies that would uproot every government agency and disrupt the lives of every person who calls America home.

  • On June 14, Rep. Pressley was announced as a founding member of a Congressional Task Force designed to stop Project 2025 which was founded by Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02).
  • On June 12, 2024, Rep. Pressley outlined the damning link between Project 2025 and the Supreme Court’s corruption.
  • In May 2024 committee hearing, Rep. Pressley highlighted the harm of Project 2025’s plans to replace tens of thousands of civil servants with partisan sycophants and destroy government infrastructure.