Barletta Bill to Save Taxpayers $500 Million A Year Unanimously Passes Committee
WASHINGTON – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today passed H.R. 6194, the Real Estate Assets and Leasing (REAL) Reform Act of 2018, legislation introduced by Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) that has the potential to save taxpayers more than $500 million annually through a 20 percent reduction in federal lease costs. The REAL Reform Act adds to Barletta’s previous work as Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management to save taxpayer dollars through better management of federal real estate. The bill passed the committee by a unanimous vote.
“The REAL Reform Act allows the government to negotiate better rental rates and concessions, which means more savings for taxpayers,” Barletta said. “I’m proud to say we have already saved taxpayers $3.7 billion by eliminating unnecessary federal building projects and better utilizing federal space. I thank Chairman Shuster for his constant support on this important issue, and look forward to continuing our efforts to make Washington work for the people of Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation.”
Specifically, the REAL Reform Act provides the General Services Administration (GSA), which is responsible for the management of federal real estate assets, with the tools necessary to negotiate leases that save taxpayer dollars. By cutting red tape, we can ensure the federal government is able to take advantage of the current buyer’s market. The bill also strengthens oversight of federal construction projects and ensures that such projects remain on or under budget. The REAL Reform Act also includes provisions to ensure mothers have access to lactation rooms in public buildings, and improves public building security by establishing more accountability and oversight of the Federal Protective Service (FPS).
“Today the Committee approved Chairman Barletta’s common sense reform bill to help protect taxpayer dollars through the sensible management of federal real property,” said Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA). “Lou continues to work tirelessly to make sure the federal government acts as a better steward of the American people’s tax dollars, and in doing so he is helping to save billions of dollars through lower rental rates and smarter deals for federal workspace and properties.”
For more information on the REAL Reform Act and Barletta’s work as subcommittee chairman, click here.
GSA owns or leases over 9,600 real estate assets and maintains an inventory of more than 370 million square feet of workspace for 1.1 million federal employees. Currently, more than half of GSA’s space inventory is in commercially leased space, which costs taxpayers more than $5.5 billion each year. Since becoming Chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee in 2013, Barletta has saved taxpayers $3.7 billion by reducing the federal footprint through the consolidation of space and improvement of space utilization. In his role as chairman, he has held numerous hearings in Washington, DC and different regions of the country, providing oversight and holding federal bureaucrats at the General Services Administration (GSA) accountable for their use of office space and taxpayer resources.