Technology & Innovation

Tracking AI Provisions in FY 2024 Appropriations Bills

11.13.23 | 3 min read | Text by Jack Titus & Liam Alexander

As Congress moves forward with the appropriations process, both the House and Senate have proposed various provisions related to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) across different spending bills. These proposals reflect the growing importance and adoption of AI/ML technologies across many areas of government.

Below we summarize AI/ML provisions for each appropriations bill in tables comparing the Senate and House versions.Tables include:

Both chambers provide significant funding increases for AI research at science agencies like the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Department of Energy (DoE)’s Office of Science. For example, the Senate recommends $135 million for AI initiatives across DoE’s Office of Science, while the House includes $20 million for NSF to research AI explainability. NIST sees a $68 million funding increase in the Senate bill for its measurement labs and research, and a $15 million increase in the House.

The provisions overall seem focused on practical AI applications and boosting research, rather than ideological battles. The language in both chambers’ bills is framed in terms of maintaining US leadership and competitiveness, which tends to avoid partisan divisions. The House justifies more of its spending on AI in tones that are hawkish toward China. The Senate bills tend to have more congressionally directed spending items, or earmarks, related to AI.

Both bills demonstrate interest in AI applications like agricultural forecasting, autonomous vehicles, and utilizing AI to modernize government operations. But the Senate more explicitly directs agencies to adopt AI to improve such programs, and in some cases, such as NIST funding, the Senate is more fiscally generous. Overall, the Senate bill reports and bill summaries are more specific in the language and observations around AI, with 65 provisions related to AI or machine learning, compared to 44 in the House, across all appropriations bills. This potentially reflects a somewhat higher level of interest within the Senate Appropriations committee on the topic.

While both chambers agree on boosting AI research funding, the Senate takes a more top-down approach prescribing funding for AI initiatives while the House allows more agency discretion. Differences also emerge regarding perspectives on AI oversight and governance. Clearly, there will be a lot of coordination needed to align on AI funding priorities when (and if) these bills go to conference.

This tracker will be updated as the appropriations process continues.


AI Provisions in 2023 Appropriations Bills: Agriculture

ProvisionHouse SummarySenate SummaryStatusSource
Agricultural data securityN/AProvides $2M for ARS and university collaboration on ag data security researchPassed Senate 11/1/2023S. P.18
BARD programmingExpands BARD (USDA-Israel collaboration) to include AIExpands BARD (USDA-Israel collaboration) to include AIPassed Senate 11/1/2023; Passed House Appropriations 6/20/2023S. P.19; H. P.17
Sensor fusion researchN/AProvides $1M for ARS sensor/AI research for environmental monitoringPassed Senate 11/1/2023S. P.23
Poultry processing researchN/AProvides funds for ARS poultry research including AI/automationPassed Senate 11/1/2023S. P.28
Predictive crop modelingN/AProvides $1M for ARS predictive crop modeling using AIPassed Senate 11/1/2023S. P.28-29
Agricultural roboticsN/AEncourages NIFA ag robotics researchPassed Senate 11/1/2023S. P.37
AI Research InstitutesEncourages NIFA support for AI Research InstitutesEncourages NIFA support for AI Research InstitutesPassed Senate 11/1/2023; Passed House Appropriations 6/20/2023S. P.37; H. P.25
SNAP fraud detectionN/AEncourages FNS to use data mining/ML for SNAP fraud detectionPassed Senate 11/1/2023S. P.106
Food labeling accuracyDirects FDA to evaluate AI tools for food labeling complianceDirects FDA to evaluate AI tools for food labeling compliancePassed Senate 11/1/2023; Passed House Appropriations 6/20/2023S. P.123; H. P.78
Dairy robotics fundingN/AProvides funding for robotic dairy milker (ARS)Passed Senate 11/1/2023S. P.151
Specialty crop resilienceSupports NIFA specialty crop resilience research using AIN/APassed House Appropriations 6/20/2023, failed on House Floor 9/28/23H. P.24

Commerce, Science & Justice

AI Provisions in 2023 Appropriations Bills: Commerce, Science, & Justice

ProvisionHouse SummarySenate SummaryStatusPage
NIST AI fundingProvides $15M for NIST AI standards and risk frameworkDirects NIST to continue AI standards and risk framework workPassed House Subcommittee 7/14/2023; Passed Senate Committee 7/13/2023H. Explanatory Materials p19, 22; S. p23
NOAA autonomous systemsProvides $21.7M for NOAA autonomous maritime systemsN/APassed House Subcommittee 7/14/2023H. Explanatory Materials p27, 35
NOAA computing upgradesN/AProvides $60M to NOAA including $5M for AI weather data processingPassed Senate Committee 7/13/2023S. p62
NASA aviation autonomyProvides $10M+ for NASA autonomous flight systemsN/APassed House Subcommittee 7/14/2023H. Explanatory Materials p87-88, 91, 94
NSF AI explainabilityProvides up to $20M for NSF AI explainability researchN/APassed House Subcommittee 7/14/2023H. Explanatory Materials p97
NSF AI workforceEncourages NSF AI workforce developmentSupports NSF AI workforce developmentPassed House Subcommittee 7/14/2023; Passed Senate Committee 7/13/2023H. Explanatory Materials p101; S. p171-2
NWS translationN/AEncourages NWS to use AI for weather translationsPassed Senate Committee 7/13/2023S. p54
DEA digital evidenceN/AUrges DEA to adopt AI for digital evidence analysisPassed Senate Committee 7/13/2023S. p100-101
NASA AI investmentsN/ANotes AI as key space technology areaPassed Senate Committee 7/13/2023S. p157
NSF AI transparencyN/AEncourages NSF AI transparency researchPassed Senate Committee 7/13/2023S. p172
NSF computing resourcesEncourages NSF support for AI computing resourcesEncourages NSF AI computing resourcesPassed House Subcommittee 7/14/2023; Passed Senate Committee 7/13/2023H. Explanatory Materials p99; S. p173
EEOC AI biasN/ADirects EEOC to report on AI bias in hiringPassed Senate Committee 7/13/2023S. p181

Energy & Water Development

AI Provisions in 2023 Appropriations Bills: Energy & Water Development

ProvisionHouse SummarySenate SummaryStatusPage
Climate modeling researchN/AProvides funding for DOE Office of Science AI/ML tools to improve climate modeling and analysis of low-dose radiation impactsPassed Senate committee 7/20/23S. p120
Broad AI/ML research programN/AEstablishes $135M cross-cutting AI/ML research program across DOE Office of SciencePassed Senate committee 7/20/23S. p116
Quantum computing algorithmsN/ASupports DOE Office of Science research on algorithms for future quantum computersPassed Senate committee 7/20/23S. p117
Exascale computing softwareN/AProvides funding to DOE Office of Science to maintain and advance software for exascale systemsPassed Senate committee 7/20/23S. p117
Advanced computing strategyN/ADirects DOE to brief Congress on advanced computing strategy and investmentsPassed Senate committee 7/20/23S. p118
Battery interface designN/AEncourages DOE Office of Science research using AI/ML tools for battery interface designPassed Senate committee 7/20/23S. p118-9
Removal of AI office fundingN/AEliminates $1M in funding for DOE’s Artificial Intelligence and Technology OfficePassed Senate committee 7/20/23S. p150
AI for dredging optimizationN/AProvides funding for AI/ML tools to optimize Army Corps dredging operationsPassed Senate committee 7/20/23S. p47
AI for CO2 captureProvides $5M for universities to research AI/ML for DOE FE CO2 captureN/APassed House 10/26/23H. p110
Cyber-physical systems securityProvides $5M for university research on resilient cyber-physical systems for DOE CESERN/APassed House 10/26/23H. p100

Financial Services & Government

AI Provisions in 2023 Appropriations Bills: Financial Services and General Government Bill

ProvisionHouse SummarySenate SummaryStatusPage
IRS customer service AIN/ADirects IRS to study using AI chatbots for customer service and provide briefingPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/13/2023S. p25-26
FTC AI oversightN/ASupports FTC oversight of AI for consumer protection and competitionPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/13/2023S. p68
George Mason University AI researchN/AProvides $1M to George Mason University Center for AI Innovation for Economic Competitiveness for AI researchPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/13/2023S. p110

Homeland Security:

AI Provisions in 2023 Appropriations Bills: Homeland Security

ProvisionHouse SummarySenate SummaryStatusPage
CBP AI for screeningN/AEncourages CBP to prioritize testing and acquiring AI/ML tools for vehicle and cargo screeningPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p4, 29-30
CBP northern border techN/ADirects CBP to brief Congress on autonomous systems for northern borderPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p31
CBP AI for mail facilitiesN/AProvides funds for CBP to use AI/ML to detect smuggled drugs in international mailPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p37-38
CBP contract analysisN/ADirects CBP to use AI/ML tools to analyze and consolidate contractsPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p44
Integrated border surveillanceN/AProvides $86M for integrated border surveillance towers with autonomyPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p45
CBP screening improvementsN/ADirects CBP to incorporate AI/ML into screening systemsPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p46
ICE data systemsN/ADirects ICE to brief Congress on use of AI/ML in data systemsPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p56-57
Coast Guard tech upgradesN/AEncourages Coast Guard to develop AI/ML for search and rescuePassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p77
DHS cybersecurity researchN/AProvides university research funds for cybersecurity AI/MLPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p115
DHS IoT researchN/AEncourages DHS research on IoT and AI/ML for infrastructure securityPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p116
CBP surveillance towersProvides $21M for CBP autonomous surveillance towersN/APassed House 9/28/2023H. p5, 21
Coast Guard tech upgradesProvides $10M to Coast Guard for AI and autonomous capabilitiesN/APassed House 9/28/2023H. p7
CBP targeting improvementsEncourages CBP review of AI for targeting centerN/APassed House 9/28/2023H. p26
CBP maritime surveillanceDirects CBP to brief Congress on maritime autonomous surveillanceN/APassed House 9/28/2023H. p29, 47
CBP tower deploymentDirects CBP to deploy autonomous surveillance towersN/APassed House 9/28/2023H. p30
CBP inspection techProvides $12.6M for CBP AI/ML screening toolsN/APassed House 9/28/2023H. p32
ICE detention operationsDirects ICE to brief Congress on using AI for detention operationsN/APassed House 9/28/2023H. p39-40
TSA screening improvementsRecognizes TSA efforts to develop AI screening algorithmsN/APassed House 9/28/2023H. p44-45

Interior & Environment

AI Provisions in 2023 Appropriations Bills: Interior & Environment Comparison

ProvisionHouse SummarySenate SummaryStatus
Wildfire modeling and AIEncourages Forest Service and BLM collaboration with NOAA on wildfire modeling and AI solutionsN/APassed House 11/3/23
Advanced computing for water monitoringProvides funding for USGS work with academics on advanced computing techniques for water monitoringProvides funding for USGS to work with academics on advanced computing techniques for water monitoring and requests briefingPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023; Passed House Appropriations Committee 7/19/2023

Labor, HHS & Education

AI Provisions in 2023 Appropriations Bills: Labor, HHS, and Education Bill

ProvisionHouse SummarySenate SummaryStatusPage
Robotics manufacturing trainingN/AEncourages DOL to prioritize robotics and manufacturing training programsPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p9
NIH AI/ML researchN/AProvides $135M for NIH AI/ML research and seeks update on ethics standardsPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p118-9
NIH AI for research prioritizationN/ASupports NIH using AI to optimize research investmentsPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p124
IES collaboration on AI researchN/AEncourages IES collaboration with NSF on AI education researchPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p248
Robotics education earmarksN/AIncludes 3 earmarks totaling $2.06M for robotics education programsPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/27/2023S. p285, 340, 355

Legislative Branch

AI Provisions in 2023 Appropriations Bills: Legislative Branch

ProvisionHouse SummarySenate SummaryStatusPage
Copyright Office AI studyN/ADirects Copyright Office to brief Congress on AI and copyright issuesPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/13/2023S. p49
GAO AI oversightN/AEncourages GAO’s STAA team to continue AI oversight for CongressPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/13/2023S. p55
House AI working groupDirects House CAO to formalize AI working group and produce AI reportN/APassed House 11/1/2023H. p8-9
AI captioning studyDirects accessibility office to study AI captioning for committeesN/APassed House 11/1/2023H. p13

Military Construction & VA

AI Provisions in 2023 Appropriations Bills: Military Construction & VA

ProvisionHouse SummarySenate SummaryStatusPage
VA autonomous robotsEncourages VA to consider autonomous robots in hospital planning and requests reportDirects VA to report on cost savings from using autonomous robots at hospitalsPassed Senate 11/1/2023; Passed House 7/27/2023S. p48; H. p32, 46
VA bioelectronics researchEncourages VA research combining bioelectronics, AI/ML for treatmentN/APassed House 7/27/2023H. p33

State & Foreign Operations

AI Provisions in 2023 Appropriations Bills: State & Foreign Operations

ProvisionHouse SummarySenate SummaryStatusPage
Technology diplomacy trainingN/ADirects State Dept to address deficiencies in AI training for technology diplomacyPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/20/2023S. p15
NATO emerging tech investmentsN/AEncourages NATO to invest in AI/ML capabilitiesPassed Senate Appropriations Committee 7/20/2023S. p27

Transportation & HUD

AI Provisions in 2023 Appropriations Bills: Transportation & HUD

ProvisionHouse SummarySenate SummaryStatusPage
Rural AV researchN/AConcerned about delays in DOT awarding prior rural AV research funds; may require briefingPassed Senate 11/1/2023S. p21-22
Crashworthiness standardsDirects NHTSA to continue research on lightweight materials for AVsDirects NHTSA to continue research on lightweight materials for AVsPassed Senate 11/1/2023; Passed House 7/18/2023S. p59; H. p41
Airport taxiing systemEncourages FAA to evaluate autonomous airport taxiing systemN/APassed House 7/18/2023H. p30
AV regulatory frameworkDirects NHTSA to submit biannual reports on AV rulemaking activitiesN/APassed House 7/18/2023H. p42