The draft Financial Service and General Government budget released by the House Appropriations Committee on Sunday, June 2, only includes $35 million for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF), putting funding below the White House budget request of $150 million and more in line with the $25 million allocated in fiscal year 2019.
The funding amount, proposed by Democrats in the House, creates a large gap between the White House budget and the House, which is likely to be the subject of negotiations and is far from final.
The bill also continues the history of congressional appropriators taking a skeptical view of full funding for TMF. In fiscal year 2019, the White House requested $210 million in funding for FY19, later reducing it to $100 million, and the House followed closely with $150 million in funding. However, the Senate did not allocate any funding, leading to a compromise of $25 million in budget negotiations in January of this year—during the partial government shutdown.
TMF has received bipartisan support, and the bill behind the fund, the Modernizing Government Technology Act, was strongly supported by Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Will Hurd, R-Texas. During a January speech at the FITARA Awards, Connolly noted that the fight for funds under TMF would be a priority.
The fund has distributed $89 million in funds to seven modernization projects, with approximately $10 million remaining in the fund’s budget.