The Senate Appropriations Committee’s proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) funding bill proposes no new funding for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF), which at the moment is flush with cash and in the process of farming out $1 billion of funding approved under the American Rescue Plan Act to help Federal agencies modernize their IT systems and improve cybersecurity.

An explanatory statement accompanying the FSGG bill offers little detail on the committee’s decision to zero out new TMF funding for FY2022, but does note the fund’s billion dollar cash infusion earlier this year.

The Biden administration had proposed $500 million of new money for TMF for FY2022, versus the $25 million of new funding approved by Congress for FY2021.

FY2022 spending legislation approved by the House in July provides for $50 million of new TMF funding.

Separately, the House Oversight and Reform Committee last month approved an amendment to its contribution to the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better infrastructure bill that would give the TMF another $1 billion of funding that would remain available until 2031. The size and scope of that bill are currently the subject of intense negotiations between Congress and the White House, with the price tag of the legislation expected to be reduced substantially.

The House Oversight contribution to the infrastructure bill also features a provision that would give $2 billion of new funding to the General Services Administration’ Federal Citizen Services Fund (FCSF), which aims to improve how the public engages with the government.

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY2022 FSGG bill would give the FCSF $59 million of new money for Fiscal Year 2022.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said upon releasing the committee’s latest appropriations bills that he wants “bipartisan, bicameral, negotiations on topline spending for Fiscal Year 2022 … so we can enact all 12 appropriations bills by December 3rd, when the current Continuing Resolution expires.”

“In the meantime, these bills demonstrate how we can make smart investments on behalf of the American people within the topline approved by Congress, and I hope will help advance the process,” Sen. Leahy said. “The alternative to completing the appropriations process is a full-year continuing resolution, which does not serve the American people and locks in outdated spending priorities.”

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