$500 million for TMF, other tech added to Build Back Better

Governmentwide technology modernization appropriations are back in the Biden administration's signature Build Back Better legislation, but the timing of a vote remains unclear.

US Congress House side Shutterstock photo ID: 156615524 By mdgn editorial use only

Funding for governmentwide technology modernization is back in the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better legislation as of Nov. 5.

The bill now includes $250 million for the revolving Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) as well as $200 million for the Federal Citizen Services Fund and $50 million for the Information Technology Oversight and Reform (ITOR) fund at the Office of Management and Budget – an account administered by the federal CIO. All these appropriations are good through the close of fiscal 2026.

Lawmakers including Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) had sought a $3.5 billion infusion across these accounts, including $1 billion for TMF and $2 billion for the Federal Citizens Services Fund, which is administered by the General Services Administration.

"If the technology infrastructure for delivering federal assistance is unreliable or unavailable, then no amount of policy or expertise, political will, or subject matter expertise can save this nation," Connolly said in September as the House Committee on Oversight and Reform marked up its portion of the Build Back Better legislation.

The legislation has other big ticket information technology appropriations, including a $4.75 billion, 10-year investment in IRS business systems modernization and an estimated $500 million for cybersecurity programs at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

The timing of a vote on Build Back Better and a related bipartisan infrastructure bill that has already passed in the Senate remains murky at this point. On Friday, Democratic leaders advanced multiple plans for votes but intra-party disagreement between centrists and progressives is delaying floor action on the measures.

This is a developing story and will be updated.