Congress

TMF gets $25 million in newest House funding bill

shutterstock image By enzozo; photo ID: 319763930 

The newest appropriations package proposed by House Democrats includes funding for the Technology Modernization Fund created by the Modernizing Government Technology Act, but far less than the $100 million it received last year.

Previous bills designed to end the partial government shutdown followed legislation passed under unanimous consent in the Republican controlled Senate late last year.

The new bill, introduced Jan. 17, proposes $25 million in fiscal year 2019 appropriations for TMF. Last Congress, the House approved $150 million in funding for the fund before Senate appropriators zeroed out the fund over transparency issues.

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), chief sponsor of the MGT Act, which authorized $250 million for the fund, repeatedly expressed confidence in recent months that the issues raised by Senate appropriators had been resolved.

Of the $100 million the fund received in fiscal year 2018, the TMF Board, the entity that decides where that money goes, still has not distributed the entire appropriation. About $23.5 million remains unawarded. Six projects from five agencies have received $76-plus million. To date, agencies have submitted about 40 proposals vying for a slice of modernization dollars.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pledged not to take up any appropriations bills the president won't sign, so it's unlikely this bill will become law.

Mike Hettinger, a former Hill staffer and currently a lobbyist specializing in procurement and IT issues, said the change signals some movement.

"It's important the committee provided some funding for the TMF," he said. "This action will allow industry and OMB to continue to work with Congress to prove the value of the fund going forward with an opportunity to increase funding levels in future years," he said.

The initial appropriations bill, introduced in the House Jan. 3 included $19 million for the Office of Management and Budget's Information Technology Oversight and Reform, which houses the United States Digital Service. The newest bill also bumps the federal CIO funding from $19 million in a Jan. 3 bill to $28.5 million. An explanatory statement accompanying the legislation cites the IT Dashboard, the OMB Policy Library and IT policy compliance tracking as specific investments.

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a former FCW staff writer.

Featured

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

Stay Connected