Press Releases

Committee Approves Federal Real Estate Management Reform Bills and Other Measures

Washington, DC, March 2, 2016 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446 | comments
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The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a number of measures today during a legislative markup, including two bipartisan bills to improve the management and disposal of federal office space and real estate inventory to save taxpayers money.

The Committee unanimously approved the Public Buildings Reform and Savings Act of 2016 (H.R. 4487), and the Federal Asset Sale and Transfer Act of 2016 (H.R. 4465).  In addition the Committee unanimously passed the Foreign Spill Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 1684), the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2015 (H.R. 223), and several other measures. 

“Bipartisan legislation passed by the Committee today will shrink the federal government’s physical footprint, streamline the disposal process of excess federal property, and save taxpayers money,” Shuster said.  “The Committee also approved some common sense measures to protect the Great Lakes and help address cleanups of future oil spills.”

“I was happy to support the bipartisan Public Buildings Reform and Savings Act of 2016.  This legislation gives GSA the flexibility to make smarter decisions when it comes to federal buildings,” said DeFazio.  “From reducing the federal footprint to considering the long-term costs of leasing versus construction, the legislation gives GSA more tools to better manage federal buildings.  I’m also happy to support the Federal Assets Sales and Transfer Act, which is a bipartisan, reasonable solution to reducing our inventory of underutilized federal buildings.  Finally, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is bipartisan legislation that will help restore and maintain the ecological health of the Great Lakes.  I applaud the sponsors of this legislation for their hard work.”

The Public Buildings Reform and Savings Act of 2016 (H.R. 4487)

H.R. 4487 was introduced in the House by Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman Lou Barletta (R-PA); Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee Ranking Member Andre Carson (D-IN); Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA); Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR); Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).

The bill reforms the General Services Administration (GSA) to enable the agency to better facilitate consolidations, reduce space, and negotiate the best possible office space lease deals to save billions of dollars.  The bill establishes a Streamlined Leasing Pilot Program that reduces the administrative red tape on most GSA leases and encourages space consolidations, improves accountability in the acquisition and construction of new federal space, ensures federal construction projects remain within or under budget, sets clear timeframes on authorized projects, and clarifies congressional oversight of property exchanges.  The bill also strengthens authorities of the Federal Protective Service (FPS) in order to improve security at federal buildings, clarifies protection authorities related to federal buildings, and improves accountability and oversight of the use of such authorities.

Click here for more information about the Public Buildings Reform and Savings Act of 2016.

The Federal Asset Sale and Transfer Act of 2016 (H.R. 4465)

H.R. 4465 was introduced by U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), T&I Chairman Shuster, T&I Ranking Member DeFazio, Economic Development Subcommittee Chairman Barletta, Economic Development Subcommittee Ranking Member Carson, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD).

This legislation implements common sense policies to shrink the size of government and help ensure savings by selling or redeveloping high value properties, consolidating federal space, maximizing the utilization rates of space, and streamlining the disposal of unneeded assets.

The bill establishes a Public Buildings Reform Board of members who will identify opportunities to reduce the real property inventory and make recommendations for the sale of up to $8 billion worth of underutilized and vacant federal properties.  The bill also requires the GSA to create and publish a single, comprehensive database of all federal real properties, including whether that property is excess, surplus, underutilized or unutilized to prevent a future stockpiling of unused and under-utilized property.

Click here for more information about the Federal Asset Sale and Transfer Act of 2016.

The Foreign Spill Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 1684), introduced by U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), ensures that Foreign Offshore Units can be liable for removal costs or damages, under the Oil Pollution Act, that result from an oil spill incident.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2015 (H.R. 223), introduced by U.S. Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), authorizes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for five years to carry out Great Lakes protection and restoration activities.

The Baudette Coast Guard Housing Conveyance Act (H.R. 3030), introduced by U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), authorizes the Coast Guard to convey residential housing units to the City of Baudette for use as affordable housing.

In addition, the Committee approved two bills to name U.S. courthouses, three resolutions to approve the use of the Capitol Grounds, and 24 General Services Administration resolutions.  A complete list of legislative text and the Committee actions can be found here.

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