Biden’s $1.67 trillion budget will boost technology and AI

President Joe Biden’s proposed fiscal year 2025 federal budget would direct significant funding to government agencies’ adoption of artificial intelligence technology, while also reducing outdated government spending as part of a broader effort to foster American leadership and innovation. Spending will also be increased to modernize services and strengthen cybersecurity practices.

Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said at a press conference Monday that the request for $1.67 trillion in discretionary spending for fiscal year 2025 builds on the vision laid out in Biden’s March 7 State of the Union address. , said that it is partially focused on the following points: “Expand and protect access to health care, support America’s workforce and revitalize manufacturing, fuel clean energy innovation while combating the climate crisis, provide national paid leave, advance cancer research, and keep our communities safe.” Improving sexuality, etc.

The budget includes $850 billion in defense spending, an increase of $34 billion from the 2023 enacted level. Non-defense discretionary funding is $770 billion. Collectively, mandatory spending items such as Medicare, Social Security, and other mandates bring the fiscal year budget to a total of $7.3 trillion.

The budget also includes a proposed 2% pay raise for federal employees.

AI and emerging technologies

The budget includes significant investments to advance Biden’s October 2023 Executive Order on the Safe and Secure Development of AI, which officials say will advance AI into US technology leadership. It is positioned as an important element of efforts to ensure the continuation of the

An OMB spokesperson said: Nextgov/FCW The budget “provides more than $3 billion across agencies to responsibly develop, test, procure, and integrate innovative AI applications across the federal government,” and “key To address the issue, we are proposing $300 million in mandatory funding to increase agency funding for AI,” taking risks and promoting its use for public good. ”

The funding proposal also calls for $20 billion to be invested “across major research institutions” to foster further innovative efforts spurred by the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. , which is an increase of $1.2 billion from the funding allocated for 2023. The White House budget says the funding will partially help support AI-related activities at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and also provide funding for the National Science Foundation to invest in emerging technologies, including AI and quantum information science. is listed.

Additionally, the AI-focused funding will require government agencies to create a “chief AI officer responsible for the agency’s use of AI,” deploy new AI technologies to improve government services, and support the public. It includes $70 million to establish minimum safeguards for government use of AI to protect rights and safety. ”

The FY25 request also calls for strengthening agency IT systems and public services to better support Americans and federal employees, including through the adoption of new digital systems.

This includes $2.7 billion for the Office of Federal Student Aid, an increase of $625 million over the 2023 enacted level, and is partially funded by FSA to “continue modernizing our digital infrastructure.” and to ensure the reliable operation of financial aid programs.

Other notable investments include an allocation to the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Information Technology to “continue upgrading information technology systems to enable faster benefit delivery and easier access to health care services.” This includes $6.2 billion invested.

cyber security

The 2025 budget also invests in federal cybersecurity efforts and allocates funding for enforcement agencies to crackdown on cybercriminals.

A $25 million increase is requested for the FBI to support counterintelligence and cyber response capabilities against hacking groups. The Justice Department’s National Security Division is also being asked for about $5 million to help crack down on cyber threats.

In recent months, the FBI has announced operations against major nation-state hacking groups linked to Russia and China that have prompted the White House to pay for its efforts to thwart hacking threats seeking to destroy U.S. infrastructure. This is likely an incentive to provide more funds to the FBI. other sensitive targets.

$13 billion is also earmarked for space in private institutions to strengthen the safety of public services. He also earmarked $103 million for his DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, bringing his total for the fiscal year to $3 billion.

Approximately $394 million is requested for CISA’s internal cyber and analytical capabilities, and $41 million and $116 million are requested for critical infrastructure security coordination and critical infrastructure cyber event reporting, respectively.

The budget earmarks $800 million broadly for America’s “national security workforce,” including support for zero trust architecture implementation, a 17% increase over last year’s request.

The request also takes into account corporate cybersecurity, providing $150 million for a Cybersecurity Enhancement Account to support Treasury’s cyber capabilities. He also directed $396 million to the Fiscal Bureau, which aims to strengthen the security of key government financial systems.

Technology modernization

The Biden administration is also seeking to add $75 million to the Technology Modernization Fund, a nonannual fund kept in the General Services Administration and spent on technology upgrades at federal agencies. Although the fund received a $1 billion increase under the American Rescue Plan Act, annual expenditures have declined each year since the law creating the fund was enacted.

According to GSA’s budget justification, TMF “plans to allocate the majority of its current funding and announce several large-value investments in the first half of 2024.”

Relatedly, the government is also seeking $97 million in additions to the federal Citizen Services Fund, a GSA initiative that supports technology improvements and shared services across the government. In addition, the administration is seeking authority to collect $26 million in contributions from government agencies, bringing the overall fund increase to $123 million in fiscal year 2025. The request comes after $150 million in ARPA funding for the fund expired.

While the budget reflects many of the Biden administration’s most pressing concerns, it faces the possibility that it will be extremely difficult to pass in a divided Congress. But Young contrasted the White House’s funding priorities with those of the Republican Party, seeking to draw a sharp contrast on several key issues in an election year.

“The president’s vision for progress, opportunity, and equity has been repeatedly fought to cut critical programs that Americans expect and increase the budget deficit by trillions of dollars in donations to Big Pharma, the wealthy, and corporations. “It’s a stark contrast to Congressional Republicans,” she said by phone Monday.

Nextgov/FCW Cybersecurity Writer David DiMolfetta and Managing Editor Adam Mazmanian contributed to this article.

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