House Panel Okays FSGG Bill That Blocks OPM-GSA Merger

Capitol Washington DC Federal

The House Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Subcommittee approved by voice vote today legislation that would provide $24.6 billion of funding for a variety of Federal agencies and programs for Fiscal Year 2021.

The FSGG funding figure approved today marks an increase of $808 million – or 3.2 percent – over the FY2020 enacted funding level. The next legislative action on the bill will come at a full Appropriations Committee markup.

Notably, the bill features language that would block a long-standing Trump administration plan to merge the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) into the General Services Administration. Language of the legislation says that no funds under the current appropriations bill, or some prior legislation, “may be obligated or expended to reorganize or transfer any function of authority” of OPM to GSA or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

That merger plan has met with fierce resistance from Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., chairman of the House Government Operations Subcommittee.

Elsewhere on the technology-related front, the bill includes:

$339 million for OPM for FY2021, up $8.5 million from the FY2020 level;

$107 million for OMB, up $5.6 million over the FY2020 level, and $8.5 million below President Trump’s budget request;

$500 million to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for election security grants, up $75 million from the FY2020 level, to augment state efforts to improve Federal office election security and integrity;

$61 million in emergency funding to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand availability of broadband service to unserved areas, and multi-year funding for broadband mapping and replacement of telecom carrier equipment deemed to pose national security threats to the U.S.;

$25 million of funding for the Technology Modernization Fund;

$250 million of funding for business systems modernization at the Internal Revenue Service, up $70 million from the FY2020 level; and

Provisions requiring executive branch agencies to provide information to the Government Accountability Office “promptly.”

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