House passes Technology Modernization Fund bill, awaits Senate’s move

The legislation intended to enhance TMF procedures extended the program’s sunset date and amended appropriations amount requirements.
Dome of the U.S. Capitol Building, Congress, House, Senate, Washington, D.C.
(REUTERS / Erin Scott)

A bill to update the Technology Modernization Fund passed the House via voice vote Tuesday under suspension of rules, answering repeated calls from within Congress and the Biden administration to fund the program.

The legislation, a revitalization of the Modernizing Government Technology Reform Act from 2017, calls on agencies to adhere to the original intent of the bill and require issued funds to be repaid or reimbursed to ensure TMF sustainability and solvency. With some new amendments, Congress struck down the act’s authorized appropriations amount requirements and extended the sunset date to December 2031.

There is not currently a companion bill in the Senate, but the House Oversight and Accountability Committee is in conversation with the chamber to support the legislation further.

A committee aide said the House bill was modified to “reflect the reality that the fund is a revolving fund, and therefore has different appropriating needs every appropriation cycle.”


“That doesn’t mean we don’t intend for the fund to be appropriated,” the aide continued. “We are taking out the stagnant annual appropriations amount and allowing for more dynamic appropriations to be decided by the appropriations committees each fiscal year.”

Significantly, the bill aims to impose additional constraints on reimbursements to provide agencies with flexibility for repaying the fund.

The new bill was marked up in September and passed out of committee unanimously — a precursor to the continued bipartisan support expected by the committee. The fiscal year 2024 spending package had rescinded $100 million from the TMF, drawing calls from board chair and federal CIO Clare Martorana for Congress to “please fund the TMF.” 

The aide shared that the committee has been in “a series of positive conversations” with the General Services Administration, which manages the TMF program office. 

“I think there’s a bipartisan interest on the Hill ensuring the TMF remains a successful tool to address legacy IT for the next several years and into the future,” the aide said. “I think GSA is aligned with our vision and approach for how we hope to see that done.”


In February, GSA updated its policy for agencies seeking financial assistance from the TMF that set the repayment floor at a minimum of 50%, with room for exceptions to be decided by the GSA administrator and the Office of Management and Budget director.

Both GSA and OMB declined to comment.  

“I think we have additional conversations to have on the Hill about how to appropriately fund the TMF while ensuring that it’s a revolving fund and those funds are being best used to support legacy IT projects,” the aide said. 

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va. — who is co-sponsoring the bill with Reps. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., and Ro Khanna, D-Calif. — said in an email to FedScoop that he believes “the federal government is only as good as the IT [it] utilizes,” a principle that he said led him to author the legislation and drives his “critical oversight efforts” of programs like FITARA.

“With this bill, we can ensure the federal government is able to modernize its IT, move away from its reliance on legacy systems, and better serve the American people who rely on government technology to deliver for them,” Connolly said.


Mace did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

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