Gluesenkamp Perez, Foxx Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Streamline Federal Grant Opportunities

Oct 12, 2023
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03) and Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC-05) introduced the bipartisan Streamlining Federal Grants Act. The bill seeks to standardize and coordinate grant administration across the federal government to make it easier for communities and organizations to apply for grants.

Federal grants are uniquely uncoordinated – there is no single set of rules, forms, or policies for their administration. Federal agencies utilize 191 different grant management IT systems, so applicants are routinely asked to enter the same information across forms and software systems. Additionally, Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs), the announcements of requirements for grants, are not standardized across agencies. 

This lack of administrative coordination can increase burdens on applicants, especially small, rural, and underserved communities and organizations.

The Streamlining Federal Grants Act includes five main directives to simplify grant administration:

  • Designate Officials for Grants: Each grant-making agency will designate a Senior Agency Official to streamline grant administration.
  • Create a Grants Council: The Grants Council will lead efforts to simplify notice of funding opportunities, implement common data standards, improve interagency data sharing and collection, and support federal grant workforce development.
  • Develop and Implement Agency Grant Improvement Plans: The Grants Council and OMB Director will develop guidance requiring agencies to streamline the application process, ensure applicants have opportunities to receive training and assistance, and adopt software solutions that meet shared standards.
  • Improve Grants.gov: The HHS Secretary and OMB Director will study and improve Grants.gov, the government’s website for searching and applying for federal grants. 
  • Require GAO Evaluations: The Comptroller General will identify barriers to accessing federal grants for underserved communities and evaluate the bill’s implementation.

“I’ve heard from local governments, first responders, and nonprofits across Southwest Washington that accessing federal grant funding is just too difficult,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez. “The Streamlining Federal Grants Act would cut unnecessary red tape by standardizing the rules, forms, and notices for grant applications across federal agencies. It would make a real difference for small, rural, and underserved communities in our district.”

“Our nation’s federal grant system is in dire need of targeted reform – the Streamlining Federal Grants Act offers Congress a necessary step towards achieving that end. By building upon the work of the bipartisan Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act – legislation that I previously authored and that was signed into law – Congress can improve interagency coordination of grant outcome data sharing and collection while slashing red tape in the process,” said Rep. Foxx. “I’m proud to co-lead this legislation alongside Representative Gluesenkamp Perez to right the ship and ensure government-wide compliance.”

“The bipartisan Streamlining Federal Grants Act would simplify the federal grant administration process, better enabling our nation’s counties to access grant opportunities,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “Counties, especially those in rural areas, often face challenges in applying for complex federal grants due to resource constraints. This bill would address these barriers by improving interagency coordination, supporting under-resourced counties in the application processes and reauthorizing federal grant reform legislation. We thank Congresswoman Gluesenkamp Perez for her leadership and look forward to working with our bipartisan congressional partners to secure passage of this legislation.”

“The federal government relies heavily on charitable nonprofits to perform services in every community across the United States. Yet the federal grants process is needlessly complex, exclusionary, and a reason the current nonprofit workforce shortage crisis is so severe,” said National Council of Nonprofits President and CEO Tim Delaney. “The networks of the National Council of Nonprofits strongly support the Streamlining Federal Grants Act as a needed step in de-complexifying federal grant making and providing clarity and fairness that will benefit all Americans.”

“The National League of Cities thanks Representatives Gluesenkamp Perez and Foxx for their bipartisan leadership in reforming the federal grant system,” said NLC CEO and Executive Director Clarence Anthony. “Strong partnerships with our federal government enable many cities, towns and villages – especially smaller ones – to successfully compete for and win federal grants. The Streamlining Federal Grants Act will allow local governments across America to more easily take advantage of federal resources that help transform our communities.”

“I am thrilled to see the introduction of the Streamlining Federal Grants Act of 2023 in the House of Representatives, which reflects in part the Relief4Charities policy asks to strengthen and support the nonprofit sector. This legislation will greatly improve access to federal grants for underserved communities and streamline the application process,” said Social Current President and CEO Dr. Jody Levison-Johnson. “I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA) for their leadership and commitment to making federal grants more transparent, efficient, and accessible for organizations in need.”

A summary of the legislation is available here. Full text of the bill is available here.

The Streamlining Federal Grants Act was introduced in the Senate on a bipartisan basis by Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), James Lankford (R-OK), and John Cornyn (R-TX).

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