The Biden-Harris administration wants congressional approval for a massive spending plan that will enable the incoming team to hit the ground running, including more than $10 billion for a spate of IT and cybersecurity initiatives, some of which would fundamentally change federal programs.
The transition team for President-elect Joe Biden released a $1.9 trillion plan to help the U.S. recover from a crushing year of economic instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While most of the American Rescue Plan focuses on vaccine rollout, stimulus checks and job creation, a fact sheet detailing specifics of the plan also includes funding for IT modernization and cybersecurity upgrades for federal agencies.
“In addition to addressing the public health and economic crises head on, the president-elect’s plan will provide emergency funding to upgrade federal information technology infrastructure and address the recent breaches of federal government data systems,” the fact sheet states, alluding to the recent SolarWinds breaches. “This is an urgent national security issue that cannot wait.”
The plan calls on Congress to “expand and improve” the Technology Modernization Fund, including a multibillion-dollar cash infusion and overhauling the structure of the program.
“A $9 billion investment will help the U.S. launch major new IT and cybersecurity shared services at the Cyber Security and Information Security Agency and the General Services Administration and complete modernization projects at federal agencies,” according to the fact sheet.
The TMF—established as part of the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017—was designed to be a self-sustaining centralized pool from which agencies can apply for loans for technology upgrades. To date, Congress has only approved a maximum of $150 million for the ..