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OUR PERSPECTIVES

With Federal Legislation on the Way, Artificial Intelligence Receives High Priority in FY25 Budget Request



On Monday this week, President Joe Biden officially delivered his Fiscal Year 2025 budget request to Congress - providing an outline of the administration's top priorities for funding and policies across the federal ecosystem. Though the budget is mostly just a blueprint of top administration priorities, the delivery of the budget request official kicks off Congress’ annual budgetary and appropriations process for the next fiscal year. The FY25 budget request is valued at $7.3 trillion overall and includes approximately $1.63 trillion in base discretionary funding – $895.2 billion for defense spending and $770 billion for non-defense programs. Furthermore, the budget is also projected to reduce deficits by $3 trillion over the next ten years.


The President’s Budget is simply a recommendation to Congress on how the upcoming fiscal year’s spending bills should be formed. With slim majorities in both the House and Senate, the Biden Administration is unlikely to get many of their recommendations included in this proposed budget, and it is unclear at best when FY25 appropriations will meaningfully advance in Congress. Nonetheless, the information from the budget request is useful in understanding the priorities of the administration, and offering a baseline from which appropriators will craft this year’s spending measures.


In what has steadily emerged as a strong priority for the Biden administration, the FY25 budget included a range of funding uses directly focused on bolstering the development, deployment, and integration of artificial intelligence technology throughout federal agencies. The FY25 budget request builds on previous actions from the administration – especially the most recent Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence – to propose thorough funding that would allow the full breadth of the federal government to invest in AI systems.


OMB has stated that the FY25 budget request “provides over $3 billion across agencies for transformative AI applications,” while also proposing “$300 million in agency funding for AI.” See below for some of the key targeted programs that were prioritized in AI:


Chief Artificial Intelligence Officers: $70 million across federal agencies for the appointment of Chief AI Officers that will oversee each agency’s adoption of new AI technologies, while ensuring that the agency adheres to safeguards protecting public safety.


Commerce-Led AI Efforts: $65 million with the Commerce Department to regulate and promote AI, especially including the launch and operationalization of a U.S. AI Safety Institute under the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).


AI Technologies for the Energy Sector: $455 million to the Department of Energy to “extend the frontiers of AI for science and technology.”


NAIRR: $30 million for the second year pilot program of the National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) at the National Science Foundation.  


New AI Offices: Provides funding to open new offices at the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor that are explicitly focused on coordinating the use of AI, managing associated risks, and promoting ongoing innovation.


While Congress continues to focus on developing potential legislation early this year to regulate artificial intelligence, the FY25 budget request showcases that AI innovation, development, and deployment remains top of mind for policymakers. Expect AI to continue to be prioritized during the FY25 appropriations process, especially in order to ensure that the federal government receives the necessary resources to grow its AI ecosystem.

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