A bipartisan bill that would give incentives to federal agencies to modernize their IT infrastructure received a boost when the Congressional Budget Office said it would cost $500 million over five years, not $9 billion, The Hill reported on Monday.
That much higher cost doomed the previous version of the bill, the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act, which passed the House late last year before stalling in the Senate due to the high estimated costs by the CBO.
The new version of the bill is almost identical to last year's legislation, except for the changes made to dramatically lower the cost.
The legislation, which has received the backing of the Trump administration, is quickly moving through Congress and is scheduled to be voted on in the House on Wednesday.
The impetus for the bill's urgency has been fears that the use of legacy systems by the federal government has raised vulnerabilities to cyber attacks.
A survey released by cybersecurity company BeyondTrust earlier this month stated that 42 percent of high-level federal information technology managers say they have suffered from a data breach in the past six months.
Rep. Will Hurd, one of the cosponsors of the bill, said the legislation is much needed.
"The federal government spends $80 billion each year on IT systems and 80 percent of which is spent maintaining outdated, legacy systems," Hurd said, according to SC Magazine.
"Our government needs to be able to introduce cutting edge technology into their networks to improve operational efficiency and decrease operational cost," he explained. "The MGT Act does just that."
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