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White House FY 2025 budget vision stays the course

March 14, 2024
By: Jason Rittenberg

The White House published its FY 2025 budget this week. As Congress will ultimately produce its preferred budget, the president’s release like those of previous Administrations serves as more of a messaging document outlining a vision and priorities. For tech-based economic development (TBED), the message is that Congress has provided ample tools but needs to continue to fund them.

Among the federal TBED programs included in the (188-page) budget summary perhaps the biggest ask among these programs is EDA’s Tech Hubs, which the administration recommends at $4 billion in mandatory funding. The program was authorized at $10 billion, but Congress so far has appropriated just $500 million.

The Department of Energy also received a comparatively robust increase of 7.5%, including increases in research and innovation activities. Most other requests are more inline with recent appropriations levels, including EDA’s Build to Scale at $50 million; the National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines at $205 million; and, the Small Business Administration’s FAST, Regional Innovation Clusters, and Growth Accelerator Fund Competition at $10 million each.

Within the primary budget factsheet, the main context in which TBED appeared was in a priority for building a diverse STEM workforce, including $1.4 billion for CHIPS and Science Act programs at the National Science Foundation. STEM talent issues were again addressed in a factsheet that called out the Economic Development Administration’s Good Jobs Challenge and Recompete Pilot Program, as well as expanded Pell Grant access, as key initiatives.

A supporting factsheet devotes an entire section to advancing safe AI development, including through $3 billion across agencies for integration and $30 million to help create a shared AI research infrastructure, and also requests $1.5 billion for ARPA-H to advance the “cancer moonshot.”

Other factsheets discussed capital issues with proposals that include making investment fund managers pay income instead of capital gains tax, taking cryptocurrency like stocks, and continuing to increase funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.

Congress is still completing the FY 2024 budget process, with funding for six of 12 bills completed and the remaining six expiring on March 22. Despite this, many congressional offices have already been working toward an FY 2025 proposal.

federal budget, fy25budget