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Congress to fund Commerce and Science agencies in first half of FY 2024 action

March 07, 2024
By: Jason Rittenberg

More than five months into fiscal year 2024, Congress has approved an agreement covering six of the twelve annual appropriations bills. Many tech-based economic development (TBED) programs received funding equal to the FY 2023 base appropriation—a strong sign of support for a year in which Congress agreed to return to FY 2022 overall spending levels and many programs across the federal government, therefore, saw cuts. However, because Congress has not agreed to provide again the supplemental funding that fueled robust spending last year, the FY 2024 budget actually provides hundreds of millions of dollars less in total TBED spending than was appropriated in FY 2023.

Congress adopted the SSTI Innovation Advocacy Council’s recommended Build to Scale funding level of $50 million, matching the FY 2023 level and above the White House’s request of $45 million. For Tech Hubs, Congress provided $41 million, matching the FY 2023 base appropriation but well below last year’s $500 million in total funding, the White House’s request of $4 billion (with $2.5 billion to be used in FY 2024), and the Innovation Advocacy Council’s recommendation of $2.5 billion.

The National Science Foundation saw a $221 million increase over the prior year’s base budget, but an 8% cut when the FY 2023 supplemental funding is considered. The FY 2024 agreement also does not directly fund Engines, despite the Senate having proposed $200 million for the year. Per the explanatory statement that accompanies the budget bill: “In lieu of the funding specified in the Senate report, the agreement supports the NSF Engines and notes the recent award of the first Type-2 projects.”

The House voted on March 6 to pass the first six bills by a 339-85 vote, and the Senate is expected to approve the legislation this week. The remainder of the federal appropriations expire on March 22, so action is expected over the next two weeks. Agencies still to be funded include the Small Business Administration, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information on FY 2024 appropriations, stay tuned to these resources:

  • SSTI will provide more information about line items relevant to the TBED field in upcoming issues of the SSTI Weekly Digest;
  • The TBED Community of Practice will host a webinar providing an overview of FY 2024 appropriations on April 25—register today;
  • As always, SSTI members will receive notices as funding opportunities become available through the members-only Funding Supplement.
fy24budget, eda, nsf, federal budget