The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is due to get no new funding in fiscal year 2024 under the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill approved today by the House Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee.

The TMF is administered by the General Services Administration (GSA) and exists to provide money for Federal agency technology improvement projects. The fund received a $1 billion infusion in 2021 and has been steadily spending that amount down across a range of investments in numerous agency tech projects, with a particular focus on cybersecurity and citizen service improvements.

In March, the White House proposed $200 million of new funding for TMF in FY2024.

According to a summary of the FSGG FY2024 appropriations bill released by the committee’s Republican leadership, TMF funding is being zeroed out for FY2024 as part of a long list of items characterized by the committee as “wasteful spending.”

Also included in the committee’s description of the bill under the heading of “wasteful Washington spending and bureaucracy” are the bill’s rejection of $6.2 billion of discretionary funding increases, cutting spending for a “supercharged army of 85,000 IRS agents,” and “ensuring agencies return to pre-COVID telework policies and levels.”

“As we continue to move through markups, it is important to remember that this is not a normal funding year,” said Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, in a statement today on the FSGG bill. “Trillions of dollars were spent outside of the annual appropriations process during the last Congress, and we must re-evaluate our spending priorities.”

“The Fiscal Year 2024 Financial Services bill reflects that goal – and ensures that misplaced spending is re-prioritized to meet our most pressing needs,” she said. “As we seek to fully fund our national defense, veterans, and border security, unnecessary spending will be lower on the priority list.”

In its FY2024 budget request released in March, the White House said that TMF was managing “nearly $700 million for 38 investments, across 22 Federal agencies, and has received and reviewed more than 220 proposals totaling $3.5 billion in funding demand.”

As of mid-2022, the TMF still had more than $700 million in its coffers – both from the 2021 infusion and prior-year allocations.

Last month, Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., chairwoman of the House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation, said she was working on legislation to “sharpen” the TMF.

“A new funding vehicle, the Technology Modernization Fund, was created in 2017,” Rep. Mace said. “It provided another tool for replacing legacy IT, but it’s become clear that it’s a tool that needs sharpening,” she said. “So, I intend to introduce legislation soon that will do just that.”

She did not offer specifics on the bill, but said the subcommittee will continue to focus its oversight and legislative efforts on “innovative solutions that actually move the needle on the old problem of IT modernization – and that’s what this legislation will do.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.