WASHINTON, D.C. – Rep. Jeff Denham’s Civilian Property Realignment Act passed out of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Out of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The Committee approved the legislation that will improve the management of federal property, shrink the federal government’s footprint and save taxpayers billions of dollars, according to a news release from Denham's office.
“I believe the potential to save billions of dollars is real, and H.R. 1734 creates a process that can help us realize those savings. There are vacant or underused buildings across the country that will result in taxpayer savings and efficiencies immediately,” Denham said in the relase. “There has been inaction for too long – my bill will increase transparency and cut through the bureaucratic red tape to literally shrink the size of government and maximize utilization rates.”
H.R. 1734, the “Civilian Property Realignment Act” (CPRA), was approved by a vote of 30 to 22. Congressman Denham’s bill would employ a BRAC-like process for civilian properties, reduce the federal footprint and save taxpayers billions of dollars. This cost saving initiative would achieve a reduction in the size of the federal real property inventory through selling or redeveloping underutilized properties, increasing the utilization rates of existing properties, and expediting the disposal of surplus properties, according to the news release.
Provisions and benefits of the bill include:
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· Establishes an independent civilian commission, similar to the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) to make property recommendations to Congress;
· Recommendations can only be disapproved en bloc by the President and Congress;
· After a one-time appropriation of initial seed funding, the process would be self-funded by sale proceeds;
· Proceeds will go towards deficit reduction;
· Requires the sale or transfer of several underutilized GSA properties including for the National Women’s History Museum, the consolidation of the National Gallery of Art and the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Energy, and the proposed Los Angeles Courthouse, all of which will benefit taxpayers and result in immediate savings;
· OMB estimates such a proposal would result in $15 billion in future savings;
· Anticipated CBO direct spending savings of at least $400 million in the first five years.