Government technology is too often outdated and slow. Some members of Congress are trying to change this and pull Washington into the 21st century with the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act.
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) received recognition for passing the MGT Act through the House at The Door Stop Awards presented by The Lincoln Network and the OpenGov Foundation. The Door Stop Awards for Congressional Innovation and Transparency highlight members of Congress and staffers delivering sustained, bipartisan and meaningful change in challenging environments.
Hurd (shown above) won the Door Stop Award for championing the bill in a bipartisan effort with Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). According to media site FCW, the bill would establish a $500 million central fund for modernizing IT systems. While the legislative process can be arduous, Hurd and Connolly’s bill could streamline government services, making this investment one that could save taxpayers much more money in the long run.
While the bill passed the House on May 17, Federal News Radio reports the bill has since stalled in the Senate. Around the same time the bill was sent to the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Senate leaders found themselves entangled in a healthcare debate that occupied much of the summer session. Now it appears the bill has a new path to becoming law. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) have filed the MTG Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, according to Federal News Radio.
Udall told Federal News Radio he is hoping the Senate committees consider the bill after Congress resumes session. “There have been constructive, bipartisan conversations between the bill sponsors, committee leaders and the administration, and I believe we can come together and move the bill through the Senate in the coming months,” Udall said.
If the MGT Act is approved in committee and voted into becoming law, it will then require The Appropriations Committee to designate funds in the federal budget, according to FCW.
“I hope the Trump administration will include investment to capitalize this new fund in their fiscal 2018 budget,” said Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in a statement on the House Floor.
Though today’s headlines often focus on government gridlock, Hurd and Connolly embody the ideals of the Door Stop Awards by focusing on bipartisan solutions.
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