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House Republicans Press GSA to Dispose of Unneeded Federal Buildings

June 23, 2012
On June 19, House Republicans took aim at the pace of the Obama administration’s effort to sell underutilized federal government properties. Holding a field hearing at a General Services Administration (GSA) owned heating plant in Washington, D.C.’s historic Georgetown, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) and Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) said the agency was not moving quickly enough to dispose of unused properties in its portfolio. The two-acre Georgetown property sat empty for over a decade at a cost of $3.5 million to taxpayers. GSA put the property on the market three weeks ago.  However, Flavio Peres, GSA’s deputy assistant commissioner for real property utilization and disposal, noted that of the federal government’s 893,381 buildings and structures, GSA controls 9,476 or about 12.3 percent. Of the 14,000 properties listed as unnecessary, Peres said that only 124 are GSA-controlled. Twenty-four federal agencies have their own landholding authority, such as the departments of Defense, Veteran’s Affairs, and Interior. The hearings are part of an effort to push for enactment of Denham’s Civilian Property Realignment Act (H.R. 1734), which passed the House in February, but remains stalled in the Senate. If enacted, the bill could help the government raise an estimated $15 billion from property sales and lead to significant new construction projects throughout the country. AGC supported passage of the House bill and continues to press for passage of its Senate counterpart, S. 2232, sponsored by Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.). For more information, please contact Jimmy Christianson at 703-837-5325 or christiansonj@agc.org.
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