(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.)
112th Congress Rept. 112-384
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2nd Session Part 1
CIVILIAN PROPERTY REALIGNMENT ACT
February 1, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Mica, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 1734]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom
was referred the bill (H.R. 1734) to decrease the deficit by
realigning, consolidating, selling, disposing, and improving
the efficiency of Federal buildings and other civilian real
property, and for other purposes, having considered the same,
report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that
the bill as amended do pass.
Purpose of Legislation........................................... 15
Background and Need for Legislation.............................. 16
Summary of Legislation........................................... 18
Legislative History and Consideration............................ 25
Committee Votes.................................................. 27
Committee Oversight Findings..................................... 31
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................ 31
Performance Goals and Objectives................................. 31
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................ 31
Advisory of Earmarks............................................. 40
Federal Mandate Statement........................................ 41
Preemption Clarification......................................... 41
Advisory Committee Statement..................................... 41
Applicability of Legislative Branch.............................. 41
Changes in Existing Law made by the Bill, as Reported............ 41
The amendment is as follows:
Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Civilian Property Realignment Act'' or
SEC. 2. PURPOSES.
The purposes of this Act are--
(1) to consolidate the footprint of Federal buildings and
(2) to maximize the utilization rate of Federal buildings and
(3) to reduce the reliance on leased space;
(4) to sell or redevelop high value assets that are
underutilized to obtain the highest and best value for the
taxpayer and maximize the return to the taxpayer;
(5) to reduce the operating and maintenance costs of Federal
civilian real properties through the realignment of real
properties by consolidating, co-locating, and reconfiguring
space, and other operational efficiencies;
(6) to reduce redundancy, overlap, and costs associated with
(7) to create incentives for Federal agencies to achieve
greater efficiency in their inventories of civilian real
(8) to facilitate and expedite the sale or disposal of
unneeded civilian properties; and
(9) to assist Federal agencies in achieving the Government's
sustainability goals by reducing excess space, inventory, and
energy consumption, as well as by leveraging new technologies.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act, unless otherwise expressly stated, the following
(1) Federal civilian real property and civilian real
(A) Property.--The terms ``Federal civilian real
property'' and ``civilian real property'' refer to
Federal real property assets, including public
buildings as defined in section 3301 of title 40,
United States Code, occupied and improved grounds,
leased space, or other physical structures under the
custody and control of any Federal agency.
(B) Further exclusions.--Subparagraph (A) shall not
be construed as including any of the following types of
(i) A base, camp, post, station, yard,
center, homeport facility for any ship, or any
activity under the jurisdiction of the
Department of Defense or Coast Guard.
(ii) Properties that are excluded for reasons
of national security by the Director of the
Office of Management and Budget.
(iii) Properties that are excepted from the
definition of ``property'' under section 102(9)
of title 40, United States Code.
(iv) Indian and Native Eskimo properties
(I) any property within the limits of
any Indian reservation to which the
United States owns title for the
benefit of an Indian tribe; and
(II) any property title which is held
in trust by the United States for the
benefit of any Indian tribe or
individual or held by an Indian tribe
or individual subject to restriction by
the United States against alienation.
(v) Properties operated and maintained by the
Tennessee Valley Authority pursuant to the
Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933 (16
U.S.C. 831, et seq.).
(vi) Postal properties owned by the United
States Postal Service, except that the United
State Postal Service shall submit to the
Commission and the Commission shall consider,
pursuant to section 11, postal properties
suitable for co-location with other Federal
agency field offices.
(vii) Properties used in connection with
Federal programs for agricultural,
recreational, and conservation purposes,
including research in connection with the
(viii) Properties used in connection with
river, harbor, flood control, reclamation, or
(2) Federal agency.--The term ``Federal agency'' means an
executive department or independent establishment in the
executive branch of the Government, and a wholly owned
(3) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the
Administrator of General Services.
(4) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Civilian
Property Realignment Commission.
(5) OMB.--The term ``OMB'' means the Office of Management and
(6) Field office.--the term ``field office'' means any
Federal office that is not the Headquarters office location for
the Federal agency.
SEC. 4. COMMISSION.
(a) Establishment.--There is established an independent commission to
be known as the Civilian Property Realignment Commission, referred to
in this Act as the ``Commission''.
(b) Duties.--The Commission shall carry out the duties as specified
in this Act.
(1) In general.--The Commission shall be composed of a
chairman appointed by the President, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate, and 8 members appointed by the
(2) Appointments.--In selecting individuals for appointments
to the Commission, the President shall consult with--
(A) the Speaker of the House of Representatives
concerning the appointment of 2 members;
(B) the majority leader of the Senate concerning the
appointment of 2 members;
(C) the minority leader of the House of
Representatives concerning the appointment of 1 member;
(D) the minority leader of the Senate concerning the
appointment of 1 member.
(3) Terms.--The term for each member of the Commission shall
be 6 years.
(4) Vacancies.--Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner
as the original appointment.
(5) Qualifications.--In selecting individuals for appointment
to the Commission, the President shall ensure the Commission
contains individuals with expertise representative of the
(A) Commercial real estate and redevelopment.
(B) Government management or operations.
(C) Community development, including transportation
(D) Historic preservation.
SEC. 5. COMMISSION MEETINGS.
(a) Open Meetings.--Each meeting of the Commission, other than
meetings in which classified information is to be discussed, shall be
open to the public. Any open meeting shall be announced in the Federal
Register and the Federal website established by the Commission at least
14 calendar days in advance of a meeting. For all public meetings, the
Commission shall release an agenda and a listing of materials relevant
to the topics to be discussed.
(b) Quorum and Meetings.--Seven Commission members shall constitute a
quorum for the purposes of conducting business and 3 or more Commission
members shall constitute a meeting of the Commission.
(c) Transparency of Information.--All the proceedings, information,
and deliberations of the Commission shall be open, upon request, to the
chairperson and the ranking minority party member, and their respective
subcommittee chairperson and ranking minority party member, of--
(1) the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the
House of Representatives;
(2) the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the
House of Representatives;
(3) the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental
Affairs of the Senate;
(4) the Committee on Environmental and Public Works of the
(5) the committees on Appropriations of the House of
Representatives and the Senate.
(d) Government Accountability Office.--All proceedings, information,
and deliberations of the Commission shall be open, upon request, to the
Comptroller General of the United States.
SEC. 6. COMPENSATION AND TRAVEL EXPENSES.
(1) Rate of pay for members.--Each member, other than the
Chairperson, shall be paid at a rate equal to the daily
equivalent of the minimum annual rate of basic pay payable for
level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title
5, United States Code, for each day (including travel time)
during which the member is engaged in the actual performance of
duties vested in the Commission.
(2) Rate of pay for chairperson.--The chairperson shall be
paid for each day referred to in paragraph (1) at a rate equal
to the daily equivalent of the minimum annual rate of basic pay
payable for level III of the Executive Schedule under section
5314, of title 5, United States Code.
(b) Travel.--Members shall receive travel expenses, including per
diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with sections 5702 and 5703
of title 5, United States Code.
SEC. 7. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
(a) Appointment.--The Commission shall appoint an Executive Director
and may disregard the provisions of title 5, United States Code,
governing appointments in the competitive service.
(b) Rate of Pay for Director.--The Executive Director shall be paid
at the rate of basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule
under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.
SEC. 8. STAFF.
(a) Additional Personnel.--Subject to subsection (b), the Executive
Director, with the approval of the Commission, may appoint and fix the
pay of additional personnel.
(b) Detail Employees From Other Agencies.--Upon request of the
Executive Director, the head of any Federal agency may detail any of
the personnel of that agency to the Commission to assist the Commission
in carrying out its duties under this Act.
(c) Qualifications.--Appointments shall be made with consideration of
a balance of expertise consistent with the qualifications of
representatives described in section 4(c)(5).
SEC. 9. CONTRACTING AUTHORITY.
(a) Experts and Consultants.--The Commission may procure by contract,
to the extent funds are available, the temporary or intermittent
services of experts and consultants pursuant to section 3109 of title
5, United States Code.
(b) Space.--The Administrator, in consultation with the Commission,
shall identify suitable excess space within the Federal space inventory
to house the operations of the Commission. If no such space is
available, the Commission may, notwithstanding section 20, lease space
to the extent funds are available.
(c) Personal Property.--The Commission may acquire personal property
to the extent funds are available.
(d) Receipt and Sale of Property.--The Commission may take custody,
control, and administrative jurisdiction over Federal property pursuant
to section 12(b) and is authorized to sell such property for no less
than fair market value.
(e) Use of Small Businesses.--In exercising its authorities under
this section and section 12, the Commission shall use, to the greatest
extent practicable, small businesses as defined by section 3 of the
Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632).
SEC. 10. TERMINATION.
The Commission shall cease operations and terminate 6 years from the
date of enactment of this Act.
SEC. 11. DEVELOPMENT OF RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COMMISSION.
(a) Submissions of Agency Information and Recommendations.--Not later
than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act and 120 days
after the beginning of each fiscal year thereafter, the head of each
Federal agency shall submit to the Administrator and the Director of
the Office of Management and Budget the following:
(1) Current data.--Current data of all Federal civilian real
properties owned, leased or controlled by the respective
agency, including all relevant information prescribed by the
Administrator and the Director of the Office of Management and
Budget, including data related to the age and condition of the
property, operating costs, history of capital expenditures,
sustainability metrics, number of Federal employees and
functions housed in the respective property, square footage
(including gross, rentable, and usable).
(2) Agency recommendations.--Recommendations which shall
include the following:
(A) Federal civilian properties that can be sold for
proceeds and otherwise disposed of, transferred,
exchanged, consolidated, co-located, reconfigured, or
redeveloped, so as to reduce the civilian real property
inventory, reduce the operating costs of the
Government, and create the highest value and return for
(B) Operational efficiencies that the Government can
realize in its operation and maintenance of Federal
civilian real properties.
(b) Standards and Criteria.--Not later than 60 days after the date
specified in subsection (a), the Director of OMB, in consultation with
the Administrator, shall review agency recommendations submitted
pursuant to subsection (a), and develop consistent standards and
criteria against which agency recommendations will be reviewed. The
Director of OMB and the Administrator shall develop recommendations to
the Commission based on those standards and criteria. In developing the
standards and criteria, the Director of OMB, in consultation with the
Administrator, shall incorporate the following:
(1) The extent to which the Federal building or facility
could be sold, redeveloped, or otherwise used to produce the
highest and best value and return for the taxpayer.
(2) The extent to which the operating and maintenance costs
are reduced through consolidating, co-locating, and
reconfiguring space, and through realizing other operational
(3) The extent to which the utilization rate is being
maximized and is consistent with non-governmental industry
standards for the given function or operation.
(4) The extent and timing of potential costs and savings,
including the number of years, beginning with the date of
completion of the proposed recommendation.
(5) The extent to which reliance on leasing for long-term
space needs is reduced.
(6) The extent to which a Federal building or facility aligns
with the current mission of the Federal agency.
(7) The extent to which there are opportunities to
consolidate similar operations across multiple agencies or
(8) The economic impact on existing communities in the
vicinity of the Federal building or facility.
(9) The extent to which energy consumption is reduced.
(c) Special Rule for Utilization Rates.--Standards developed by the
Director of OMB must incorporate and apply clear standard utilization
rates consistent throughout each category of space and with
nongovernment space utilization rates. To the extent utilization rates
are exceeded by a given agency, the Director shall recommend
realignment, co-location, consolidation, or other type of action to
improve space utilization.
(d) Submission to the Commission.--
(1) In general.--The standards, criteria, and recommendations
developed pursuant to subsection (b) shall be submitted to the
Commission with all supporting information, data, analyses, and
(2) Publication.--The standards, criteria, and
recommendations shall be published in the Federal Register and
transmitted to the committees designated in section 5(c) and to
the Comptroller General of the United States.
(3) Access to information.--The Commission shall also have
access to all information pertaining to the recommendations,
including supporting information, data, analyses, and
documentation submitted pursuant to subsection (a). Upon
request, Federal agencies shall provide, the Commission any
additional information pertaining to its properties.
SEC. 12. COMMISSION DUTIES.
(a) Identification of Property Reduction Opportunities.--The
Commission shall identify opportunities for the Government to reduce
significantly its inventory of civilian real property and reduce costs
to the Government.
(b) Identification of High Value Assets.--
(1) Identification of certain properties.--Not later than 180
days after Commission members are appointed pursuant to section
4, the Commission shall identify not less than 5 Federal
properties that are not on the list of surplus or excess as of
such date with a total fair market value of not less than
$500,000,000 to be sold and transmit the list to the President
and Congress as Commission recommendations and subject to the
approval process described in sections 13 and 14.
(2) Leaseback restrictions.--None of the existing
improvements on properties sold under this subsection may be
leased back to the Federal Government.
(3) Information and data.--In order to meet the goal
established under paragraph (1), Federal agencies shall
provide, upon receipt, any and all information and data
regarding its properties to the Commission. The Commission
shall notify the committees listed under section 5(c) of any
failure by any agency to comply with a request of the
(4) Transfer.--Not later than 60 days after approval of the
Commission recommendations pursuant to paragraph (1), Federal
agencies with custody, control, or administrative jurisdiction
over the identified properties shall transfer custody, control,
and administrative jurisdiction to the Commission.
(5) Sale.--Not later than 120 days after approval of
Commission recommendations pursuant to paragraph (1) and
notwithstanding any other provision of law (except as provided
in section 18), the Commission shall sell the properties
described in paragraph (1) at fair market value at highest and
(6) Proceeds.--The proceeds shall be distributed in
accordance with section 17.
(c) Analysis of Inventory.--The Commission shall perform an
independent analysis of the inventory of Federal civilian real property
and the recommendations submitted pursuant to section 11. The
Commission shall not be bound or limited by the recommendations
submitted pursuant to section 11. If, in the opinion of the Commission,
an agency fails to provide needed information, data or adequate
recommendations that meet the standards and criteria, the Commission
shall develop such recommendations as it considers appropriate based on
existing data contained in the Federal Real Property Profile or other
(d) Receipt of Information and Proposals.--Notwithstanding any other
provision of law, the Commission may receive and consider proposals,
information, and other data submitted by State and local officials and
the private sector. Such information shall be made publically
(e) Accounting System.--Not later than 120 days after the date of
enactment of this Act, the Commission shall identify or develop and
implement a system of accounting to be used to independently evaluate
the costs of and returns on the recommendations. Such accounting system
shall be applied in developing the Commission's recommendations and
determining the highest return to the taxpayer. In applying the
accounting system, the Commission shall set a standard performance
(f) Public Hearing.--The Commission shall conduct public hearings.
All testimony before the Commission at a public hearing under this
paragraph shall be presented under oath.
(g) Reporting of Information and Recommendations.--
(1) In general.--Not later than 120 days after the receipt of
recommendations pursuant to section 11, and biannually
thereafter, the Commission shall, at a minimum, transmit to the
President, and publicly post on a Federal website maintained by
the Commission a report containing the Commission's findings,
conclusions, and recommendations for the consolidation,
exchange, co-location, reconfiguration, lease reductions, sale,
and redevelopment of Federal civilian real properties and for
other operational efficiencies that can be realized in the
Government's operation and maintenance of such properties.
(2) Consensus in majority.--The Commission shall seek to
develop consensus recommendations, but if a consensus cannot be
obtained, the Commission may include in its report
recommendations that are supported by a majority of the
(h) Federal Website.--The Commission shall establish and maintain a
Federal website for the purposes of making relevant information
(i) Review by GAO.--The Comptroller General of the United States
shall transmit to the Congress and to the Commission a report
containing a detailed analysis of the recommendations and selection
SEC. 13. REVIEW BY THE PRESIDENT.
(a) Review of Recommendations.--Upon receipt of the Commission's
recommendations, the President shall conduct a review of such
(b) Report to Commission and Congress.--Not later than 30 days after
receipt of the Commission's recommendations, the President shall
transmit to the Commission and Congress a report that sets forth the
President's approval or disapproval of the Commission's
(c) Approval or Disapproval.--If the President--
(1) approves of the Commission's recommendations, the
President shall transmit a copy of the recommendations to
Congress, together with a certification of such approval;
(2) disapproves of the Commission's recommendations, in whole
or in part, the President shall also transmit to the Commission
and Congress the reasons for such disapproval. The Commission
shall then transmit to the President, not later than 30 days
following the disapproval, a revised list of recommendations;
(3) approves all of the revised recommendations of the
Commission, the President shall transmit a copy of such revised
recommendations to Congress, together with a certification of
such approval; or
(4) does not transmit to the Congress an approval and
certification described in paragraphs (1) or (3) within 30 days
of receipt of the Commission's recommendations or revised
recommendations, as the case may be, the process shall
terminate until the following year.
SEC. 14. CONGRESSIONAL CONSIDERATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS.
(a) Resolution of Disapproval.--Not later than 45 days after the date
of the President's transmission to Congress of the approved
recommendations pursuant to section 13, Congress may enact a joint
resolution as described in subsection (c) to disapprove the Commission
(b) Computation of Time Period.--For the purposes of this section,
the days on which either House of Congress is not in session because of
adjournment of more than three days to a day certain shall be excluded
in the computation of the period of time.
(c) Terms of the Resolution.--For purposes of this section, the term
``joint resolution'' means only a joint resolution which is introduced
within the 10-day period beginning on the date on which the President
transmits the recommendations to Congress under section 13, and--
(1) which does not have a preamble;
(2) the matter after the resolving clause of which is as
follows: ``That Congress disapproves the recommendations of the
Civilian Property Realignment Commission as submitted by the
President on _________'', the blank space being filled in with
the appropriate date; and
(3) the title of which is as follows: ``Joint resolution
disapproving the recommendations of the Civilian Property
(d) Referral.--A resolution described in subsection (c) that is
introduced in the House of Representatives shall be referred to the
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the House of
Representatives. A resolution described in subsection (c) introduced in
the Senate shall be referred to the Committee on the Environment and
Public Works in the Senate.
(e) Discharge.--If the committee to which a resolution described in
subsection (c) is referred has not reported such a resolution (or an
identical resolution) by the end of the 20-day period beginning on the
date on which the President transmits the report to the Congress under
section 13, such committee shall be, at the end of such period,
discharged from further consideration of such resolution, and such
resolution shall be placed on the appropriate calendar of the House
(1) In general.--On or after the third day after the date on
which the committee to which such resolution is referred has
reported, or has been discharged (under subsection (e)) from
further consideration of, such a resolution, it is in order
(even though a previous motion to the same effect has been
disagreed to) for any Member of the respective House to move to
proceed to the consideration of the resolution. A member may
make the motion only on the date after the calendar day on
which the Member announces to the House concerned the Member's
intention to make the motion, except that, in the case of the
House of Representatives, the motion may be made without such
prior announcement if the motion is made by direction of the
committee to which the resolution was referred. The motion is
highly privileged in the House of Representatives and is
privileged in the Senate and is not debatable. The motion is
not subject to amendment, or to a motion to postpone, or to a
motion to proceed to the consideration of other business. A
motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to
or disagreed to shall not be in order. If a motion to proceed
to consideration of the joint resolution is agreed to, the
respective House shall immediately proceed to the consideration
of the joint resolution without intervening motion, order, or
other business, and the resolution shall remain the unfinished
business of the respective House until disposed of.
(2) Debate.--Debate on the resolution and on all debatable
motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited
to not more than 2 hours, which shall be divided equally
between those favoring and those opposing the resolution. An
amendment to the resolution is not in order. A motion further
to limit debate is in order and not debatable. A motion to
postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of other
business, or a motion to recommit the resolution is not in
order. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the resolution
is agreed to or disagreed is not in order.
(3) Vote.--Immediately following the conclusion of the debate
on a resolution described in subsection (c) and a single quorum
call at the conclusion of the debate if requested in accordance
with the rules of the appropriate House, the vote on final
passage of the resolution shall occur.
(4) Appeals of decisions of the chair.--Appeals of the
decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the rules
of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may
be, to the procedure relating to a resolution described in
subsection (c) shall be decided without debate.
(g) Consideration by Other House.--
(1) In general.--If, before the passage by one House of a
resolution of that House described in subsection (c), that
House received from the other House a resolution described in
subsection (c), then the following procedures shall apply:
(A) No committee referral.--The resolution of the
other House shall not be referred to a committee and
may not be considered in the House receiving it except
in the case of final passage as provided in
(B) Resolution procedure.--With respect to a
resolution described in subsection (c) of the House
receiving the resolution the procedure in that House
shall be the same as if no resolution had been received
from the other House, but the vote on final passage
shall be on the resolution of the other House.
(2) No consideration.--Upon disposition of the resolution
received from the other House, it shall no longer be in order
to consider the resolution that originated in the receiving
(h) Rules of the Senate and House.--This section is enacted by
(1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate and
House of Representatives, respectively, and as such it is
deemed a part of the rules of each House, respectively, but
applicable only with respect to the procedure to be followed in
that House in the case of a resolution described in this
section, and it supersedes other rules only to the extent that
it is inconsistent with such rules; and
(2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of
either House to change the rules (so far as relating to the
procedure of that House) at any time, in the same manner, and
to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of that
(i) Failure to Pass Resolution of Disapproval.--If Congress fails to
pass such a joint resolution within 45 calendar days after the date of
the President's transmission to Congress of the Commission's
recommendations, the recommendations immediately gain legal force and
shall be in effect and Federal agencies shall implement and carry out
all of the Commission's recommendations pursuant to section 15.
SEC. 15. IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS.
(a) Carrying Out Recommendations.--Upon the date specified in section
14(i), Federal agencies shall immediately begin preparation to carry
out the Commission's recommendations and shall initiate all activities
no later than 2 years after the date on which the President transmits
the recommendations to Congress. Federal agencies shall complete all
recommended actions no later than the end of the 6-year period
beginning on the date on which the President transmits the Commission's
recommendations to Congress. All actions shall be economically
beneficial and be cost neutral or otherwise favorable to the
Government. For actions that will take longer than the 6-year period
due to extenuating circumstances, each Federal agency shall notify the
President and Congress as soon as the extenuating circumstance presents
itself with an estimated time to complete the relevant action.
(b) Actions of Federal Agencies.--In taking actions related to any
Federal building or facility under this Act, Federal agencies may,
pursuant to subsection (c), take all such necessary and proper actions,
(1) acquiring land, constructing replacement facilities,
performing such other activities, and conducting advance
planning and design as may be required to transfer functions
from a Federal asset or property to another Federal civilian
(2) providing outplacement assistance to civilian employees
employed by any Federal agency at a Federal civilian property
impacted by such actions; and
(3) reimbursing other Federal agencies for actions performed
at the request of the Commission.
(c) Necessary and Proper Actions.--When acting on a recommendation of
the Commission, a Federal agency shall continue to act within their
existing legal authorities, whether such authority has been delegated
by the Administrator, or must work in partnership with the
Administrator to carry out such actions. The Administrator may take
such necessary and proper actions, including the sale, conveyance, or
exchange of civilian real property, as required to implement the
Commission recommendations in the time period required under subsection
(a). The Administrator shall enter into and use commission-based
contracts for real estate services to assist in carrying out property
transactions required by the Commission's recommendations.
(d) Discretion of Commission Regarding Transactions.--For any
transaction identified, recommended, or commenced as a result of this
Act, any otherwise required legal priority given to, or requirement to
enter into, a transaction to convey a Federal civilian real property
for less than fair market value, for no consideration at all, or in a
transaction that mandates the exclusion of other market participants,
shall be at the discretion of the Commission.
SEC. 16. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) In General.--There is authorized a one-time appropriation to
carry out this Act in the following amounts:
(1) $20,000,000 for salaries and expenses of the Commission.
(2) $62,000,000 to be deposited into the Asset Proceeds and
Space Management Fund for activities related to the
implementation of the Commission recommendations.
(b) Federal Buildings Fund.--There is authorized to be appropriated
from the Federal Buildings Fund established under section 592 of title
40, United States Code, for construction and acquisition activities $0
for fiscal year 2012.
SEC. 17. FUNDING.
(a) Creation of Salaries and Expenses Account.--There is hereby
established on the books of the Treasury an account to be known as the
``Civilian Property Realignment Commission--Salaries and Expenses''
(1) Necessary payments.--There shall be deposited into the
account such amounts, as are provided in appropriations Acts,
for those necessary payments for salaries and expenses to
accomplish the administrative needs of the Commission.
(2) No appropriations.--If no amounts are appropriated for
the salaries and expenses of the Commission for a particular
fiscal year, the Director of the Office of Management and
Budget may support the Commission's activities under this Act
during such year if the Director approves, in consultation with
the Administrator, a transfer to the Commission of amounts from
the ``Civilian Property Realignment Commission--Asset Proceeds
and Space Management Fund'' within the Federal Buildings Fund
established under section 592 of title 40, United States Code,
subject to subsection (b)(3) and (4) of this section.
(b) Creation of Asset Proceeds and Space Management Fund.--There is
hereby established within the Federal Buildings Fund established under
section 592 of title 40, United States Code, an account to be known as
the ``Civilian Property Realignment Commission--Asset Proceeds and
Space Management Fund'' which shall be used solely for the purposes of
carrying out actions pursuant to the Commission recommendations
approved under section 14. Notwithstanding section 3307 of title 40,
United States Code, the following amounts shall be deposited into the
account and are hereby appropriated and shall remain available until
expended for the following specified purposes:
(1) Such amounts as are provided in appropriations Acts, to
remain available until expended, for the consolidation, co-
location, exchange, redevelopment, re-configuration of space
and other actions recommended by the Commission for Federal
(2) Gross proceeds received from the proceeds of any civilian
real property action taken pursuant to a recommendation of the
Commission under section 15. The Commission, in consultation
with the Administrator, may transfer from the gross proceeds to
a Federal agency, only amounts necessary to cover costs
directly associated with sales transactions pursuant to
implementing the recommendations pursuant to section 15.
(3) Net proceeds (which are gross proceeds received from the
sale of any civilian real property pursuant to a recommendation
of the Commission, less the amounts transferred from this
account under subsection (b)(2)), shall be divided between the
General Fund of the Treasury and the Asset Proceeds and Space
Management Fund within the Federal Buildings Fund. On an annual
basis, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget,
shall determine how the net proceeds shall be distributed,
through transfer, between the General Fund and the Asset
Proceeds and Space Management Fund, except that the General
Fund shall receive--
(A) 100 percent of all net proceeds in a fiscal year
until the total amount of net proceeds in that fiscal
year exceeds $50,000,000; and
(B) at least 60 percent of the net proceeds
thereafter in that fiscal year.
(4) The Commission, in consultation with the Administrator,
may transfer from the net proceeds deposited into the Space
Management Fund pursuant to paragraph (3) to a Federal agency,
amounts necessary to cover costs associated with implementing
the recommendations pursuant to section 15 not necessary for
the purposes of sale transactions pursuant to paragraph (2) of
this subsection. In support of its duties, the Commission, in
consultation with the Administrator, may transfer from the net
proceeds of the Space Management Fund to a Federal agency,
(A) to cover the necessary costs associated with--
(i) consolidation, co-location,
redevelopment, and reconfiguration actions; and
(ii) other actions taken to otherwise realize
operational efficiencies, including such
actions as environmental restoration; and
(B) for outplacement assistance to Federal employees
who work at a Federal property that is affected by
actions taken under this section, and whose employment
would be terminated as a result of such disposal,
consolidation, or other realignment.
SEC. 18. DISPOSAL OF REAL PROPERTIES.
(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any
recommendation or commencement of a disposal or realignment of civilian
real property shall not be subject to--
(1) section 545(b)(8) of title 40, United States Code;
(2) sections 550, 554, and 553 of title 40, United States
(3) section 501 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
(42 U.S.C. 11411);
(4) sections 1 through 3 of the Act of May 19, 1948 (Chap.
310; 62 Stat. 240; 16 U.S.C. 667b-667d);
(5) section 47151 of title 49, United States Code;
(6) sections 107 and 317 of title 23, United States Code;
(7) section 1304(b) of title 40, United States Code;
(8) section 13(d) of the Surplus Property Act of 1944 (50
U.S.C. App. 1622(d)); and
(9) any other provision of law authorizing the conveyance of
real property owned by the Government for no consideration.
(b) Environmental Considerations.--
(1) NEPA application.--The provisions of the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) shall
not apply to the actions of the President, the Commission, or
any Federal agency, in carrying out any of the Commission's
(A) during the process of property disposal; and
(B) during the process of relocating functions from a
property being disposed of or realigned to another
property after the receiving property has been selected
but before the functions are relocated.
(2) NEPA exceptions.--In applying the provisions of the
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to the processes
referred to in subsection (b)(1), the agencies do not have to
(A) the need for closing or realigning the property
which has been recommended for closure or realignment
by the Commission;
(B) the need for transferring functions to another
Federal civilian property; or
(C) any alternative path, not associated with an
environmental choice, to those recommended or selected.
(3) Civil action.--A civil action for judicial review, with
respect to any requirement of the National Environmental Policy
Act of 1969 to the extent such Act is applicable under
subsection (b)(2), of any Act or failure to act by a Federal
agency during the closing, realigning, or relocating of
functions referred to in subsection (b)(2), may not be brought
more than 60 days after the dates of such act or failure to
(4) Disposal of realigned property.--Federal agencies may
dispose or realign property without regard to any provision of
law described in subsection (a), restricting the use of funds
for disposing or realigning Federal civilian property included
in any appropriations or authorization Act.
(5) Transfer of real property.--
(A) In general.--When implementing the recommended
actions pursuant to section 15 for properties that have
been identified in the Commission's recommendations and
in compliance with the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42
U.S.C. 9601 et seq), including section 120(h) thereof
(42 U.S.C. 9620(h)), Federal agencies may enter into an
agreement to transfer by deed real property with any
(B) Additional terms.--The head of the disposing
agency may require any additional terms and conditions
in connection with an agreement authorized by
subparagraph (A) as the head of the disposing agency
considers appropriate to protect the interests of the
United States. Such additional terms and conditions
shall not affect or diminish any rights or obligations
of the federal agencies under CERCLA section 120(h)
(including, without limitation, the requirements CERCLA
section 120(h)(3)(A) and CERCLA section
(6) Information disclosure.--As part of an agreement pursuant
to this Act, the agency shall disclose to the person to whom
the property or facilities will be transferred any information
of the Federal agency regarding the environmental restoration,
waste management, and environmental compliance activities
described in this Act that relate to the property or
facilities. The agency shall provide such information before
entering into the agreement.
(c) Construction of Certain Acts.--Nothing in this section shall be
construed to modify, alter, or amend the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et
seq.) or the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.).
SEC. 19. CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL OF PROPOSED PROJECTS.
Section 3307(b) of title 40, United States Code is amended--
(1) by striking ``and'' at the end of paragraph (6);
(2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (7) and
inserting ``; and''; and
(3) by adding at the end the following:
``(8) a statement of how the proposed project is consistent
with section 11(b) of the Civilian Property Realignment Act.''.
SEC. 20. LIMITATION OF CERTAIN LEASING AUTHORITIES.
(a) Limitation on Certain Leasing Authorities.--Chapter 33 of title
40, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec. 3317. Limitation on leasing authority of other agencies
``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no
executive agency may lease space for the purposes of a public building
as defined under section 3301, except as provided under section 585,
and the provisions in this chapter.
``(b) Public Building.--For the purposes of this section, the term
`public building' shall include leased space.
``(c) Further Exclusions.--This section shall not apply to--
``(1) properties that are excluded for reasons of national
security by the President; and
``(2) properties of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
``(d) Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be construed as
creating new authority for executive agencies to enter into leases or
limit the authority of the Administration under section 3314.''.
(b) Small Businesses.--When using commercial leasing services, the
Administrator shall adhere to the requirements of the Small Business
Act (15 U.S.C. et seq.).
(c) Clerical Amendment.--The analysis for such chapter is amended by
adding at the end:
``3317. Limitation on leasing authority of other agencies.''.
SEC. 21. IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW BY GAO.
Upon the date specified in section 14(i), the Comptroller General of
the United States at least annually shall monitor, review the
implementation activities of Federal agencies pursuant to section 15,
and report to Congress any findings and recommendations.
SEC. 22. REALIGNMENT OF REAL PROPERTY OWNED OR MANAGED BY THE BUREAU OF
OVERSEAS BUILDING OPERATIONS.
(a) List of Assets.--On an annual basis, the Commission shall
identify and create a list of assets located outside of the United
States and its territories that are owned or managed by the Department
of State's Bureau of Overseas Building Operations that may--
(1) be sold for proceeds so as to reduce the civilian real
property inventory and operating costs of the Federal
(2) be otherwise disposed of, transferred, consolidated, co-
located, or reconfigured so as to reduce the operating costs of
the Federal Government.
(b) List to Secretary of State.--The Commission shall provide this
list created pursuant to subsection (a) to the Secretary of State.
(c) Review and Report.--Not later than 90 calendar days after the
receipt of the list created pursuant to subsection (b), the Department
of State shall review this list and send a report to the Commission.
The report shall include the conclusions of this review by the
Department of State.
(d) Recommendations of Certain Civilian Real Property Assets.--
Consistent with section 12, the Commission may only make
recommendations involving civilian real property assets that are
located outside of the United States and its territories and owned or
managed by the Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Building
Operations if the assets are on the list provided to the Department of
State pursuant to this section and the Department of State has
submitted a report on the list to the Commission pursuant to subsection
(e) Removal of Certain Civilian Real Property Transaction Assets.--
Consistent with section 12, not later than 20 calendar days after the
submission of the Commission's report to the President, the Secretary
of State may remove any transaction that involves a civilian real
property asset that is located outside of the United States and its
territories and owned or managed by the Department of State's Bureau of
Overseas Building Operations from the Commission recommendations or
list of recommendations made pursuant to section 12.
(f) Appeal by Secretary of State.--Nothing in this section shall
restrict the ability of the Secretary of State to appeal to the
Director of OMB or Commission for funding by the Commission's Asset
Proceeds and Space Management Fund to support the cost of implementing
(g) Proceeds.--For the purposes of this Act, proceeds from the
disposal of assets located outside of the United States and its
territories that are owned or managed by the Department of State's
Bureau of Overseas Building Operations as identified by the Commission
and disposed of pursuant to this Act shall be deposited into the Asset
Proceeds and Space Management Fund. Proceeds from the disposal of
assets by the Department of State that are not disposed of pursuant to
this Act shall be retained by the Department of State.
SEC. 23. NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MUSEUM.
(a) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the
Administrator of General Services.
(2) Cercla.--The term ``CERCLA'' means the Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980
(42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.).
(3) Committees.--The term ``Committees'' means the Committee
on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of
Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public
Works of the Senate.
(4) Museum.--The term ``Museum'' means the National Women's
History Museum, Inc., a District of Columbia nonprofit
corporation exempt from taxation pursuant to section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
(5) Property.--Except as provided in section 25 of this Act,
the term ``Property'' means the property located in the
District of Columbia, subject to survey and as determined by
the Administrator, generally consisting of Squares 325 and 326
and a portion of Square 351. The Property is generally bounded
by 12th Street, Independence Avenue, C Street, and the James
Forrestal Building, all in Southwest Washington, District of
Columbia, and shall include all associated air rights,
improvements thereon, and appurtenances thereto.
(b) Conveyance of Property.--
(1) Authority to convey.--
(A) In general.--Subject to the requirements of this
section, the Administrator shall convey the Property to
the Museum, on such terms and conditions as the
Administrator considers reasonable and appropriate to
protect the interests of the United States and further
the purposes of this section.
(B) Agreement.--As soon as practicable, but not later
than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act,
the Administrator shall enter into an agreement with
the Museum for the conveyance.
(C) Terms and conditions.--The terms and conditions
of the agreement shall address, among other things,
mitigation of developmental impacts to existing Federal
buildings and structures, security concerns, and
operational protocols for development and use of the
property and provisions to provide for the exercise by
the Museum of its right of first refusal pursuant to
(2) Purchase price.--
(A) In general.--The purchase price for the Property
shall be its fair market value based on its highest and
best use as determined by an independent appraisal
commissioned by the Administrator and paid for by the
(B) Selection of appraiser.--The appraisal shall be
performed by an appraiser mutually acceptable to the
Administrator and the Museum.
(C) Terms and conditions for appraisal.--
(i) In general.--Except as provided in clause
(ii), the assumptions, scope of work, and other
terms and conditions related to the appraisal
assignment shall be mutually acceptable to the
Administrator and the Museum.
(ii) Required terms.--The appraisal shall
assume that the Property does not contain
hazardous substances (as defined in section 101
of CERCLA (42 U.S.C. 9601)) or any other
hazardous waste or pollutant that requires a
response action or corrective action under any
applicable environmental law.
(3) Application of proceeds.--The purchase price shall be
paid into an account in the Federal Buildings Fund established
under section 592 of title 40, United States Code. Upon
deposit, the proceeds from the conveyance may only be expended
subject to a specific future appropriation.
(4) Quit claim deed.--The Property shall be conveyed pursuant
to a quit claim deed.
(5) Use restriction.--The Property shall be dedicated for use
as a site for a national women's history museum for the 99-year
period beginning on the date of conveyance to the Museum.
(6) Funding restriction.--No Federal funds shall be made
(A) to the Museum for--
(i) the purchase of the Property; or
(ii) the design and construction of any
facility on the Property; or
(B) by the Museum or any affiliate of the Museum as a
credit pursuant to subsection (c).
(A) Bases for reversion.--The Property shall revert
to the United States, at the option of the United
States, without any obligation for repayment by the
United States of any amount of the purchase price for
the property, if--
(i) the Property is not used as a site for a
national women's history museum at any time
during the 99-year period referred to in
subsection (e); or
(ii) the Museum has not commenced
construction of a museum facility on the
Property in the 5-year period beginning on the
date of enactment of this Act, other than for
reasons beyond the control of the Museum as
reasonably determined by the Administrator.
(B) Enforcement.--The Administrator may perform any
acts necessary to enforce the reversionary rights
provided in this section.
(C) Custody of property upon reversion.--If the
Property reverts to the United States pursuant to this
section, such property shall be under the custody and
control of the Administrator.
(8) Closing.--The conveyance pursuant to this section shall
occur not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of
this Act. The Administrator may extend that period for such
time as is reasonably necessary for the Museum to perform its
obligations under section subsection (c).
(c) Environmental Matters.--
(1) Authorization to contract for environmental response
actions.--In fulfilling the responsibility of the Administrator
to address contamination on the Property, the Administrator may
contract with the Museum or an affiliate of the Museum for the
performance (on behalf of the Administrator) of response
actions on the Property.
(2) Crediting of response costs.--
(A) In general.--Any costs incurred by the Museum or
an affiliate of the Museum using non-Federal funding
pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be credited to the
purchase price for the Property.
(B) Limitation.--A credit under subparagraph (A)
shall not exceed the purchase price of the Property.
(3) No effect on compliance with environmental laws.--Nothing
in this section, or any amendment made by this section, affects
or limits the application of or obligation to comply with any
environmental law, including section 120(h) of CERCLA (42
(d) Incidental Costs.--Subject to subsection (c), the Museum shall
bear any and all costs associated with complying with the provisions of
this section, including studies and reports, surveys, relocating
tenants, and mitigating impacts to existing Federal buildings and
structures resulting directly from the development of the property by
(e) Land Use Approvals.--
(1) Existing authorities.--Nothing in this section shall be
construed as limiting or affecting the authority or
responsibilities of the National Capital Planning Commission or
the Commission of Fine Arts.
(A) Zoning and land use.--Subject to subparagraph
(B), the Administrator shall reasonably cooperate with
the Museum with respect to any zoning or other land use
matter relating to development of the Property in
accordance with this section. Such cooperation shall
include consenting to applications by the Museum for
applicable zoning and permitting with respect to the
(B) Limitations.--The Administrator shall not be
required to incur any costs with respect to cooperation
under this subsection and any consent provided under
this subsection shall be premised on the Property being
developed and operated in accordance with this section.
(f) Reports.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of
this Act, and annually thereafter until the end of the 5-year period
following conveyance of the Property or until substantial completion of
the museum facility (whichever is later), the Museum shall submit
annual reports to the Administrator and the Committees detailing the
development and construction activities of the Museum with respect to
SEC. 24. FACILITIES CONSOLIDATION, SAVINGS, AND EFFICIENCY.
(a) Transfer.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law and not
later than December 31, 2012, the Administrator of General Services
shall transfer administrative jurisdiction, custody, and control of the
building located at 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., District of Columbia,
to the National Gallery of Art for the purpose of housing and
exhibiting works of art and to carry out administrative functions and
other activities related to the mission of the National Gallery of Art.
(b) Remodeling, Renovating, or Reconstructing.--
(1) In general.--The National Gallery of Art shall pay for
the costs of remodeling, renovating, or reconstructing the
building referred to in subsection (a).
(2) Federal share.--No appropriated funds may be used for the
initial costs for the remodeling, renovating, or reconstructing
of the building referred to in subsection (a).
(3) Prohibition.--The National Gallery of Art may not use
sale, lease, or exchange, including leaseback arrangements, for
the purposes of remodeling, renovating, or reconstructing the
building referred to in subsection (a).
(c) Relocation of the Federal Trade Commission.--
(1) Relocation.--Not later than December 31, 2012, the
Administrator of General Services shall relocate the Federal
Trade Commission employees and operations housed in the
building identified in subsection (a) to not more than 160,000
usable square feet of space in the southwest quadrant of the
leased building known as Constitution Center located at 400 7th
Street, Southwest in the District of Columbia.
(2) Occupancy agreement.--Not later than 30 days after the
date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of General
Services and the Securities and Exchange Commission shall
execute an agreement to assign or sublease the space (leased
pursuant to a Letter Contract entered into by the Securities
and Exchange Commission on July 28, 2010), as described in
paragraph (1), for the purposes of housing the Federal Trade
Commission employees and operations relocating from the
building located at 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., District of
Columbia, pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(d) National Gallery of Art.--Beginning on the date that the National
Gallery of Art occupies the building referred to in subsection (a)--
(1) the building shall be known and designated as the ``North
Building of the National Gallery of Art''; and
(2) any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper,
or other record of the United States to the building shall be
deemed to be a reference to the ``North Building of the
National Gallery of Art''.
(e) Discretionary Authorization Reductions.--
(1) Energy and water retrofit and conservation.--The
authorization of appropriations for the energy and water
retrofit and conservation measures program of the General
Services Administration shall be reduced from $20,000,000 to $0
for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
(2) Wellness and fitness program.--The authorization of
appropriations for the wellness and fitness program of the
General Services Administration shall be reduced from
$7,000,000 to $0 for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
SEC. 25. ADDITIONAL SALES AND SAVINGS.
(a) Definition.--In this section, the term ``Property'' means the
property located in the District of Columbia, subject to survey and as
determined by the Administrator, generally consisting of Squares 351 N,
351, 352, 325, 326, and the portion of Square 383 containing the north
building of the James Forrestal Building Complex. The Property is
generally bounded by Independence Avenue, 12th Street, Maryland Avenue,
and 9th Street in Southwest, Washington D.C.
(b) Sale.--Not later than December 31, 2013, the Administrator shall
sell the Property at fair market value at highest and best use only if
the Administrator determines such sale would result in net proceeds, as
defined in subsection (d)(2), to the Federal Government exceeding $200
(c) Leaseback Restriction.--If the Property is sold pursuant to
subsection (b), none of the existing improvements on the Property may
be leased back to the Federal Government.
(d) Application of Proceeds.--
(1) Gross proceeds.--Proceeds derived from the sale of the
Property shall be used by the Administrator to provide for not
more than 320,000 square feet of government-owned replacement
space for the federal agency functions housed on the Property.
(2) Net proceeds.--Any net proceeds received, exceeding the
expenses pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be paid into an
account in the Federal Buildings Fund established under section
592 of title 40, United States Code. Upon deposit, the net
proceeds from the sale may only be expended subject to a
specific future appropriation.
(e) Right of First Refusal.--The Administrator shall provide the
Museum as defined in section 23, a right of first refusal to purchase,
pursuant to the provisions of such section, the parcel generally
consisting of Squares 351 N and portions of 325, generally bounded by
Independence Avenue on the north, 12th Street on the east, 10th Street
on the west, and through a portion of Square 325 on the south in
Southwest, Washington, D.C.
(f) Determination of Proceeds.--If the Administrator determines the
net proceeds derived from the sale of the Property would not exceed
$200 million, the Administrator shall sell at fair market value at
highest and best use Square 326, including the vacant building known as
the ``Cotton Annex'', not later than 180 days following the
determination of the Administrator, and shall sell the Property as
defined in section 23 in accordance with the provisions of that
(g) Sale of Property.--If the Museum agrees not to exercise its first
right of refusal under this section, the Administrator shall sell the
Property described under subsection (a) of section 23 in accordance
with the provisions of such section.
SEC. 26. RESTRICTION ON USE OF FUNDS.
(a) Restriction on Use of Funds.--Notwithstanding any other provision
of law, the Administrator of General Services shall not use funds
appropriated for constructing a new courthouse in Los Angeles,
California in the Federal Buildings Fund established under section 592
of title 40, United States Code, except as provided for in a specific
(b) Sale of Certain Property.--Not later than December 31, 2013, the
Administrator of General Services shall sell at fair market value at
highest and best use any property purchased or otherwise acquired for
the purposes of constructing a new courthouse described in subsection
Purpose of Legislation
The purpose of H.R. 1734 is to save taxpayer money by
shrinking the federal real property footprint through selling
or redeveloping high value properties, consolidating federal
space, maximizing the utilization rates, and streamlining the
disposal of unneeded assets.
Background and Need for Legislation
Given the vast real estate holdings of the federal
government, poor asset management and missed market
opportunities cost taxpayers significant sums of money. For
this reason, in 2003, the Government Accountability Office
(GAO) placed real property management on its list of ``high
risk'' government activities, where it remains today. GAO
conducts biennial reviews on high-risk areas within the federal
government to bring focus to specific areas needing added
attention and oversight. Areas are identified as ``high risk''
due to their greater vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse,
and mismanagement or areas that need broad-based transformation
to address major economic, efficiency, or effectiveness
The key reasons the GAO identified federal real property as
high risk are:
excess and underutilized real property,
deteriorating and aging facilities,
unreliable property data, and
over-reliance on costly leasing.\1\
\1\See High Risk Series: Federal Real Property, U.S. General
Accountability Office, GAO-03-122, January 2003.
Unfortunately, despite executive orders and memoranda
issued during two administrations and acts of Congress intended
to improve the management of federal real property, these
problems persist.\2\ The GAO noted recently in its 2011 High
Risk report issued in February 2011, that some progress has
been made in some of these areas but ``federal agencies
continue to face long-standing problems, such as overreliance
on leasing, excess property, and protecting federal
\2\See, for example, Executive Order 13327, Federal Real Property
Asset Management, signed by President George W. Bush, February 4, 2004;
Presidential Memorandum, Disposing of Unneeded Federal Real Estate,
signed by President Barack Obama, June 10, 2010; Public Buildings
Cooperative Use Act of 1976; Public Law 108-447, Division H, Title IV,
Section 412, December 8, 2004 (providing enhanced flexibility to GSA in
real property management).
\3\High Risk Series: Managing Federal Real Property, U.S. General
Accountability Office, GAO-11-278, February 2011, p. 58.
The high risk activities of federal real property are
significant. Considerable amounts of vacant or underperforming
assets can translate into significant costs associated with
their operation, maintenance, and security. For example, in
fiscal year 2009, the federal government spent $1.7 billion in
annual operating costs for under-utilized buildings and $134
million, annually, for excess buildings.\4\
\4\FY 2009 Federal Real Property Report, Federal Real Property
Council, September 2010, p. 5.
Impediments to reducing space costs and the solution
There are various reasons why the federal government is
paying more for space than it should. Through the Committee's
jurisdiction over public buildings and its oversight and review
of General Services Administration (GSA) proposals for
construction, leasing, and renovation of federal space, the
Committee has identified a number of impediments to reducing
the cost of space. Many of these impediments have also been
identified by the GAO in its investigations. These impediments
include: (1) agencies unwilling to share space, (2) agencies
seeking unnecessarily large offices and space even as the
private sector has begun reducing office space, (3) agencies
reluctant to relocate from what they view as ``prime''
locations, and (4) initial costs and red tape associated with
selling or disposing of unneeded property.
While the private sector reduced its real estate needs to
save money, the federal government continues to expand its
space footprint. In order to counter this trend, promote better
utilization of space, realize financial returns on under-used
high value assets, and improve efficiency, including energy
efficiently, H.R. 1734 was introduced. The legislation is
intended to create a process that would independently establish
space standards, apply them to the federal inventory, and
provide a streamlined manner to ensure actions are taken by
agencies to reduce the federal real estate footprint.
H.R. 1734 is intended to save taxpayer money by selling and
redeveloping high value assets, consolidating facilities,
maximizing utilization rates, and increasing the use of
efficient space. H.R. 1734 would require the Commission
established in the legislation to examine federal real property
across government used and un-used and make decisions based on
the best return to the taxpayer. In order to accomplish these
goals, H.R. 1734 is modeled after the Base Realignment and
Base realignment and closure
The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process was first
established by Congress through the Defense Base Closure and
Realignment Act of 1988. Its purpose was to create a framework
for the realignment and disposal of Department of Defense (DoD)
properties. The BRAC process was also intended to establish a
fair process of evaluating DoD's space needs and determining
the best space solutions for DoD facilities. Since 1988, there
have been five rounds of BRAC, with the most recent commission
established in 2005.
The BRAC process first requires DoD to collect data about
its facilities and establish standards and criteria to apply in
the evaluation of those facilities. Applying those standards
and criteria, DoD then develops recommendations on base
closures and realignments. Those recommendations are sent to
the independent BRAC Commission for review. The Commission then
determines if DoD followed its standards and criteria and
reviews the associated data to determine if changes to the
recommendations are appropriate. The BRAC Commission may make
revisions; however, those revisions are limited in scope. The
BRAC Commission then submits its recommendations to the
President, who in turn must forward all recommendations to
Congress or none of them. If the President disapproves of the
BRAC recommendations, BRAC can revise and resubmit to the
President. If the President approves of the revisions the
recommendations are transmitted to Congress. Congress must
affirmatively disapprove of the recommendations within a
specified period of time and if Congress does not disapprove of
the recommendations, the BRAC recommendations are implemented.
The BRAC process and H.R. 1734
While H.R. 1734 is modeled after BRAC there are key
differences. These differences include:
H.R. 1734 applies Government-wide: BRAC applied to
one federal department (DoD) with DoD leadership that was
motivated to carry out the BRAC process. Unlike BRAC, H.R. 1734
applies to property issues government-wide including those
agencies that may or may not be willing partners in the
process. Unlike the private sector, agencies have few
incentives to eliminate unneeded property or shrink their space
footprint. And, even in those cases in which agencies want to
dispose of real property, the process for doing so can be slow
and require initial appropriations.
H.R. 1734's Focus is Reducing Costs: While the
BRAC process sought to reduce costs and increase efficiencies,
the primary purpose of the BRAC process was the realignment of
DoD facilities. The primary purpose of CPRA is to cut waste and
save taxpayer dollars.
Authority of the Commission: The BRAC Commission
had limited authority to modify the recommendations from DoD.
The CPRA Commission would have in effect de novo review over
agency recommendations. Given the fact agencies may or may not
be willing partners in the process, the Commission in H.R. 1734
would have authority to adopt agency recommendations or adopt
others developed by the Commission itself.
The management of federal real property has been a
challenge even before appearing on GAO's High Risk list. The
costs of real property are significant and most agencies do not
have the incentives to minimize those costs. Properties sit
vacant or woefully under-utilized, not only costing taxpayers
billions of dollars but often are eye sores in local
communities. And, despite the current budget climate, many
agencies continue to seek more space than is necessary,
reducing efficiency and increasing costs. H.R. 1734 is intended
to bring an independent process, outside of bureaucratic red
tape, to the management of federal real property.
Summary of Legislation
Section 1: Short title
Section 1 designates the short title of the Act as the
``Civilian Property Realignment Act.''
Section 2: Purposes
Section 2 lists the purposes of the bill to include:
reducing and consolidating the footprint of federal buildings;
maximizing the utilization rate; reducing leasing where
appropriate; selling or redeveloping high value assets; using
consolidation, co-location, and reconfiguring to reduce
operating expenses; reducing overlap in field offices; creating
incentives for agencies to achieve greater efficiencies;
facilitating sale or disposal of unneeded properties; and
achieving sustainability goals.
The intention of this section is to highlight that real
cost savings will only be produced through a combination of
actions. While selling off properties already declared excess
or surplus may help, many of those properties will realize
little net income. Real savings are achieved by consolidations,
co-locations, reducing field office overlap and tapping into
the value of high value assets. These high value assets would
not be of the nature that would be declared excess or surplus.
These may be assets that are used to some extent but would
produce a greater return to the taxpayer if sold or redeveloped
and the federal tenants relocated to less valuable locations.
Section 3: Definitions
Section 3 provides relevant definitions including a
definition for civilian real property that is consistent with
public buildings definition in the Public Buildings Act.
Section 4: Commission
Section 4 establishes a commission to carry out duties as
described in the Act. Commission would be composed of 9
members, including a chairman appointed by the President, by
and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and 8 members
appointed by the President. Six of the members would be
appointed with input by the House and Senate leadership. The
section sets terms for 6 years and requires that the
composition of the members include expertise related to
commercial real estate and development, government management
or operations, community development, and historic
The intention of the Committee is to ensure those on the
Commission include individuals with strong private sector real
estate experience that will help identify properties and
opportunities for savings.
Section 5: Commission meetings
Section 5 requires Commission meetings be public and open,
establishes what constitutes a quorum, and ensures information
is accessible to oversight committees and the GAO.
Testimony received by the Committee on the legislation
included lessons-learned from BRAC and indicated that an open
process is critical. An open process ensures appropriate input
into the process and ensures the public and stakeholders are
fully informed. The Committee expects the Commission to utilize
regional public meetings to help it identify appropriate
federal properties and redevelopment opportunities for its
Section 6: Compensation and travel expenses
Section 6 sets the compensation rate for the Commission
members and allows for per diem reimbursement of travel
expenses related to the work of the Commission.
Section 7: Executive Director
Section 7 provides for the appointment and compensation of
an Executive Director.
Section 8: Staff
Section 8 provides for the appointment and compensation of
staff and allows for detailed staff from federal agencies.
Section 9: Contracting authority
Section 9 provides the Commission contracting authority for
experts and consultants and authorizes the acquisition of
personal property subject to the availability of funds. Section
9 also requires the GSA to identify suitable space for the
Commission and, if none is available, allows the Commission to
lease space. This section authorizes the Commission to take
custody, control, and administrative jurisdiction of high value
properties identified pursuant to section 12(b) and sell those
properties for no less than fair market value. This section
also requires the Commission, to the greatest extent
practicable, to use small businesses.
The contracting authority provided in the legislation is
intended to ensure the Commission is sufficiently independent.
The authorization of the Commission taking custody, control,
and administrative jurisdiction of the high value assets
identified in the initial sales required under Section 12 are
to ensure expedited sales of those properties outside of the
bureaucracy of the federal agencies involved.
Section 10: Termination
Section 10 terminates the Commission in 6 years.
Section 11: Development of recommendations to the Commission
Section 11 establishes a framework for the development of
initial recommendations to be reviewed and submitted to the
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and to the Commission.
This section also requires the standards developed to
incorporate key principles listed in section 2 and requires the
recommendations to be submitted to the Commission.
The Commission is also given access to necessary property
data including the age and condition, operating costs, history
of capital expenditures, sustainability metrics, number of
federal employees and functions, and square footage. The number
of employees and square footage data will ensure the Commission
can properly evaluate utilization rates. The Committee believes
this data is critical to ensuring proper recommendations are
developed. This data will assist the Commission in evaluating
what recommendations will yield the best return to the taxpayer
given costs associated with particular properties.
The Committee intends the standards be developed to
maximize the reduction of the federal real property footprint
and costs. The standards should result in the co-location of
agencies and offices and standard utilizations rates across
categories of properties such as general purpose office space.
In addition, the standards should ensure the sale of property
at its highest and best use. In particular, the Commission
should identify high value assets for sale or redevelopment.
In the Committee's review of federal real property assets
and input from the private sector, it is clear that the federal
government sits on assets that are woefully under-used or
under-developed. For example, it may produce more savings to
the taxpayer, to relocate federal offices on under-developed
property and sell or redevelop that property.
Section 12: Commission duties
Section 12 establishes general duties of the Commission as
identifying opportunities for the government to reduce its
inventory and reduce costs, performing an independent analysis,
developing final recommendations, and conducting public
hearings. This section also sets an initial time for reporting
its final recommendations (and then on a regular basis
thereafter) to the President. The section requires the
Commission establish a website and requires the GAO to conduct
reviews of the process. Additionally this section requires the
Commission to recommend $500 million in savings from the sale
of high value properties in the first 180 days.
This section also requires the Commission to develop an
accounting system to assist in the development of its
recommendations. The intention is to ensure there is a standard
accounting system to assist the Commission in developing
recommendations that will produce the highest return to the
Section 13: Review by the President
Section 13 establishes a process for review by the
President. It requires the President to send to Congress his
approval or disapproval of the recommendations. If the
President disapproves, the Commission is provided additional
time to revise its recommendations. If the President fails to
approve recommendations, the process ceases for that year. If
the President approves the recommendations, they are submitted
Section 14: Congressional consideration of the recommendations
Section 14 establishes expedited congressional procedures
and timelines for consideration of a resolution of disapproval
in Congress. If Congress fails to pass a resolution of
disapproval within 45 days of receiving the recommendations,
the recommendations gain legal force.
Section 15: Implementation of Commission recommendations
Section 15 requires agencies to carry out the
recommendations. It requires all activities to be initiated
within 2 years and all actions completed in 6 years, unless
notice is provided to the President and Congress. The bill
allows for agencies to take necessary steps to carry out the
recommendations, except agencies are required to work within
their existing authorities and, if necessary, work with GSA.
The Committee expects GSA to use its existing authorities
in a timely manner including the authority to sell and exchange
properties. In addition, to minimize costs associated with GSA
staffing, H.R. 1734 requires GSA to use commission-based
contracts for real estate services to assist in carrying out
property transactions recommended by the Commission. The use of
commission-based contracts is important in supplementing GSA's
resources. These contracts will assist GSA in implementing the
recommendations in a timely manner by leveraging private sector
expertise and staffing.
Section 16: Authorization of appropriations
This section authorizes $82 million for the Commission and
initial costs associated with implementing any recommendations.
Additionally the bill offsets the cost by reducing GSA's
construction and acquisition account by $82 million.
The Committee expects the initial funding will facilitate
the creation of the Commission and fund the initial costs to
implement the recommendations. As there are often expenses to
prepare properties for sale or to make them available, this is
intended to cover those initial expenses. Future year funding
is expected to be derived from the proceeds of property sales
Section 17: Funding
Section 17 establishes an account on the books of the
Treasury for the salaries and expenses of the Commission and
establishes an account within the Federal Buildings Fund (FBF)
to carry out actions related to the Commission recommendations.
The FBF account would be funded with proceeds from any action
taken pursuant to the Commission recommendations and provides
that the first $50 million of net proceeds go to the general
treasury and at least 60% thereafter, with up to 40% going into
to new fund to provided funding for associated costs of
carrying out the Commission recommendations.
Section 18: Disposal of real properties
Section 18 waives processes that would allow for the
disposal of property for less than fair value market for
actions taken pursuant to the recommendations. The section
clarifies that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
does not apply to the decisions of the Commission and limits
civil actions. This section clarifies that the Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
(CERCLA) applies and that agencies may enter into agreements to
sell the property so long as the federal responsibilities under
CERCLA are adhered to.
Section 19: Congressional approval of proposed projects
Section 19 amends the Public Buildings Act by requiring
prospectuses for future projects, unrelated to Commission
recommendations, to include a statement describing how the
proposed project is consistent with principles in the Civilian
Property Realignment Act.
This section is intended to ensure that future projects
submitted to the Committee by GSA though the prospectus process
outlined in the Public Buildings Act conform with the standards
outlined in the legislation.
Section 20: Limitation on certain leasing authorities
Section 20 increases congressional oversight over leasing
authorities of federal agencies. The section also requires GSA
to adhere to the requirements of the Small Business Act when
using commercial leasing services.
Section 21: Implementation review by GAO
Section 21 requires GAO on at least an annual basis to
monitor and review the implementation activities related to the
Section 22: Realignment of real property owned or managed by the Bureau
of Overseas Building Operations
Section 22 allows for properties owned by the United States
overseas to be considered for the purposes of this Act. The
bill requires the Department of State input and approval for
any property proposed. It also restricts the Commission from
making recommendations on properties overseas if not
recommended by the Secretary of State.
Section 23: National Women's History Museum
Section 23 allows for the sale of property at fair market
value to the Women's History Museum along Independence Avenue
in Washington, D.C. for the purposes of constructing a museum.
Section 24: Facilities consolidation, savings, and efficiency
Section 24 provides for the consolidation of the National
Gallery of Art (NGA) from leased space and into underutilized
space adjacent to the current gallery buildings. The section
requires the NGA to raise private funds to renovate the
building. This section also relocates the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) to other vacant space in Washington, D.C. This
section also includes an offset by reducing GSA's wellness and
The Committee believes this section will save at least $300
million in taxpayer dollars and at the same time make better
use of a federal building. The Apex building, built 73 years
ago, still houses the FTC and is located in what has become an
active cultural triangle. The FTC is currently housed in three
separate locations and has requested that the Committee approve
new leased space of 427,000 square feet while the FTC continues
to maintain the use of the Apex building.
If the FTC's proposal were approved, the FTC would have
nearly 700,000 square feet for just 1,100 employees. And, with
306,000 gross square feet of space in the Apex building alone,
only little more than half is usable as office space. In
addition, the new leased space would include 144,000 square
feet of special use space, such as hearing rooms, a child care
facility, and deposition rooms, making it more likely than not
that this will be a long-term lease for many functions
currently housed in the Apex building, such as the child care
facility. As a result, there would be even less utilization of
the Apex building.
H.R. 1734 would transfer the Apex building to the NGA, a
federal entity. The NGA has outgrown its facilities and is
proximate to the Apex building. The NGA also has the authority
to raise private capital. As such, transferring the use of the
building to the NGA would attract $200 million of private
dollars to renovate the Apex building while maintaining it as a
federal asset. In addition, it would open up the Apex building
to the public as opposed to a few hundred federal workers and
increase the utilization rate of the building by more than 30%.
The Committee believes this section would save the taxpayer
at least $300 million. It would avoid the taxpayer-funded $140
million renovation of the Apex building and attract private
dollars for the renovation. In addition, because the NGA has
outgrown its existing buildings, it has had to resort to
leasing space. This section would allow the NGA to move from
taxpayer-funded leased space and avoid future lease costs. The
30-year net present value of those avoided lease costs is $145
million. Additional savings should also be realized in
relocating the FTC to more efficient space.
Section 25: Additional sales and savings
Section 25 provides for the sale of underutilized property
on Independence Avenue in Washington, D.C., including property
currently occupied by the Department of Energy (DOE). The
occupied portions of the property may only be sold if the net
proceeds of the transaction, including the total costs of
replacing the office space, exceed $200 million. If a sale
would fail to meet that threshold, the section provides for the
sale of the portions of the property that are vacant.
DOE currently is housed in inefficient buildings located on
property that is under-developed. This Committee believes
several hundred million dollars can be generated for the
taxpayer by selling the property and using the proceeds to
provide less costly and more efficient replacement space for
Section 26: Restriction on use of funds
Section 26 restricts the use of funds for a new courthouse
in Los Angeles, California, and directs GSA to sell the land
previously acquired to construct the new courthouse.
The Committee and the GAO has identified significant waste
over the years on the federal courthouse construction program.
Last Congress, at the request of the Subcommittee on Economic
Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, the GAO
completed a study entitled, ``Federal Courthouse Construction:
Better Planning, Oversight, and Courtroom Sharing Needed to
Address Future Costs.''\5\ The GAO provided testimony to the
Subcommittee on May 25, 2010, on its findings. Specifically,
the GAO examined 33 courthouses that were constructed during
the ten-year period from 2000 to 2010. The GAO found that 3.56
million square feet of extra space was built, costing the
taxpayer $835 million and that the estimated cost to rent,
operate, and maintain the extra space was $51 million annually.
The primary reasons for the overbuilding include:
1.7 million square feet of space exceeding
congressionally authorized limits;
887,000 square feet related to the
Judiciary's overestimate of the number of judges
projected at a given courthouse; and
946,000 square feet related to the lack of
courtroom sharing among judges.
The proposal for a new courthouse in Los Angeles,
California, was originally submitted to the Committee as part
of GSA's FY 2001 Capital Investment Program. At that time, the
federal courts in Los Angeles occupied and still occupy the two
buildings--the Roybal Courthouse and Federal Building and the
Spring Street Courthouse.
The Los Angeles courthouses currently house 59 judges,
fewer judges than it had in 2000 and 22 fewer than last
projected. At the same time, the U.S. courts have adopted a
sharing policy for magistrate judges, senior judges, and
bankruptcy judges. Only 21 of the 59 judges are active district
judges, meaning the remaining 38 would be covered under the
sharing policy, resulting in the need for 42 courtrooms. There
are 61 existing courtrooms without a new courthouse.
At a hearing held on November 4, 2011, the GAO testified
that not only was a third courthouse unnecessary in Los Angeles
but all of the judges could actually fit in just one--the
If GSA spends the available funds to construct a 24
courtroom courthouse as proposed, the Los Angeles courthouse
complex would have three buildings with 85 courtrooms and 59
judges. In fact, GSA plans to abandon one courthouse (Spring
Street) and demolish courtrooms in the Roybal Courthouse. As a
result, the Committee believes a new courthouse in Los Angeles
would result in the need for additional spending to renovate
the vacated spaces for other use to bring the total costs of
the project to $700 million. The Committee believes a new
courthouse in Los Angeles is not necessary and a wasteful use
of scarce taxpayer dollars.
Legislative History and Consideration
On May 4, 2011, Representative Jeff Denham introduced H.R.
1734, a bill to decrease the deficit by realigning,
consolidating, selling, disposing, and improving the efficiency
of federal buildings and other civilian real property, and for
On May 25, 2011, the Subcommittee on Economic Development,
Public Buildings and Emergency Management met in open session.
The Subcommittee adopted a substitute amendment and ordered the
bill forwarded to the full Committee by voice vote.
On October 13, 2011, the Committee on Transportation and
Infrastructure met in open session. Amendments were offered to
H.R. 1734. The Committee adopted amendments to H.R. 1734,
including an Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by
Representative Denham. The two other amendments adopted
included an amendment that amended the definition of properties
covered by the legislation and an amendment that provided
technical corrections to H.R. 1734. H.R. 1734 was ordered
reported as amended to the House by a vote of 30 to 22 with a
The Subcommittee held two hearings specifically on H.R.
1734 and several other hearings related to subject matter
addressed in H.R. 1734. In particular, the Subcommittee held
the following hearings:
``Sitting on Our Assets: Cutting Spending and Private
Redevelopment of Underperforming Buildings'' held on February
10, 2011. Witnesses included, Mr. Robert Peck, Commissioner,
Public Buildings Service, General Services Administration; Mr.
David J. Wise, Director, Physical Infrastructure Team,
Government Accountability Office; and the Honorable Anthony J.
Principi, Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans
Affairs, Chairman, 2005 Defense Base Realignment and Closure
Commission. The hearing was held in the vacant Annex of the Old
Post Office in Washington, D.C., and focused on the costs to
the taxpayer of underperforming or vacant assets, models for
their redevelopment or reuse, and how spending can be reduced
through private redevelopment of underperforming assets.
``Can a Civilian BRAC Commission Consolidate Federal Office
Space and Save Taxpayers Billions?'' held on April 6, 2011.
Witnesses included the Honorable Daniel I. Werfel, Controller,
Office of Management and Budget; the Honorable Martha Johnson,
Administrator, General Services Administration; Mr. David J.
Wise, Director, Physical Infrastructure Team, Government
Accountability Office accompanied by Mr. Brian Lepore,
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management Issues,
Government Accountability Office; and the Honorable Anthony J.
Principi, Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans
Affairs, Chairman, 2005 Defense Base Realignment and Closure
Commission. The hearing focused on whether a civilian BRAC
process can effectively consolidate federal office space,
maximize value to the taxpayer, and save taxpayers billions.
``How to Stop Sitting on Our Assets: A Review of the
Civilian Property Realignment Act'' held on May 12, 2011.
Witnesses included the Honorable Daniel Werfel, Controller,
Office of Management and Budget; the Honorable Patrick Kennedy,
Under Secretary for Management, Department of State; the
Honorable Anthony J. Principi, Former Secretary, U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs, Chairman, 2005 Defense Base
Realignment and Closure Commission; Mr. David Winstead, former
Commissioner, Public Buildings Service, General Services
Administration; and Mr. Michael Glosserman, Managing Partner,
JBG Companies. The hearing focused on H.R. 1734 and the
Administration's proposal for establishing a civilian BRAC-like
``The Securities and Exchange Commission's $500 Million
Fleecing of America'' held on June 16, 2011. Witnesses included
the Honorable H. David Kotz, Inspector General, U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission; Mr. Jeff Heslop, Chief Operating
Officer/Executive Director, U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission accompanied by Mr. Mark D. Cahn, General Counsel,
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and Ms. Elaine Clancy,
Director of Leasing, National Capital Region, General Services
Administration. The hearing focused on the SEC's management of
its independent authority to lease space and, in particular,
issues detailed in a May 16, 2011, SEC Inspector General report
related to SEC's most recent lease procurement of 900,000
square feet of space under a 10-year lease worth over $500
``The Securities and Exchange Commission's $500 Million
Fleecing of America: Part Two'' held on July 6, 2011. Witnesses
included the Honorable Mary L. Schapiro, Chairman, U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission and the Honorable H. David
Kotz, Inspector General, U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission. The hearing focused on the lease the SEC entered
into using its independent leasing authority and the unused
space that the federal government was legally bound to rent for
``A Review and Analysis of the Proposed $400 Million Los
Angeles, California, Federal Courthouse Project'' held on
November 4, 2011. Witnesses included the Honorable Margaret M.
Morrow, United States District Judge, U.S. District Court,
Central District of California; Mr. Robert Peck, Commissioner,
Public Buildings Service, General Services Administration, and
Mr. Mark L. Goldstein, Director, Physical Infrastructure,
Government Accountability Office. The hearing focused on the
current justification of a third courthouse in Los Angeles,
California, including the size, scope, compliance with
courtroom sharing guidelines, and cost implications of the
entire courthouse complex in Los Angeles.
Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives
requires each committee report to include the total number of
votes cast for and against on each record vote on a motion to
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter,
and the names of those members voting for and against. During
consideration of H.R. 1734, a total of three roll call votes
were taken--two on amendments offered to the Amendment in the
Nature of a Substitute and on ordering H.R. 1734, as amended,
reported to the House. There were no roll call votes on two
other adopted amendments or on the Amendment in the Nature of a
Substitute which were adopted by voice vote. The three roll
call votes were dispensed with as follows:
Committee Oversight Findings
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are
reflected in this report.
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures
Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is
included in this report.
Performance Goals and Objectives
With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of rule
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
performance goals and objectives of this legislation is to
decrease the deficit by realigning, consolidating, selling,
disposing of, and improving the efficiency of federal buildings
and other civilian real property, and for other purposes.
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of rule
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has
received the enclosed cost estimate for H.R.1734 from the
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, December 8, 2011.
Hon. John L. Mica,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1734, the Civilian
Property Realignment Act.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew
Robert A. Sunshine
(For Douglas W. Elmendorf, Director).
H.R. 1734--Civilian Property Realignment Act
Summary: H.R. 1734 would establish the Civilian Property
Realignment Commission (CPRC) to better manage federal
buildings and facilities. In addition to giving the commission
broad new authorities to consolidate, dispose of, or sell some
government properties, the bill would require the commission to
sell over the next year at least five civilian facilities that
have a combined estimated fair market value of' at least $500
The legislation also would direct the General Services
Administration (GSA) to:
Transfer the Washington, D.C., headquarters
building of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to the
National Gallery of Art (NGA) and move FTC offices to a
privately owned building that has already been leased
by the federal government;
Enter into agreements with the National
Women's History Museum (a private corporation) to sell
to the museum a specific parcel of federal land;
Study the possible sale of specific portions
of the Department of Energy's (DOE's) headquarters
building in Washington, D.C., and to complete that sale
if GSA determines DOE offices could be relocated while
still allowing for a net gain to the government of at
least $200 million; and
Sell certain property that the agency
acquired to build a federal courthouse in Los Angeles,
California, and terminate the courthouse project.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1,734 would result in
direct spending savings of $565 million over the 2012-2016
period and $595 million over the 2012-2021 period, primarily
from ending the courthouse project. Enacting H.R. 1734 would
not affect revenues. Because the legislation would affect
direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.
In addition, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would
add almost $200 million to discretionary spending over the
2012-2016 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary
funds, primarily for the operations and functions of the new
commission. After 2016, the need for discretionary funds to
operate and maintain certain federal buildings and facilities
could be reduced if the commission is successful in carrying
out its mission to better manage federal property.
H.R. 1734 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated
budgetary impact of H.R. 1734 over the 2012-2016 period is
shown in the following table. The costs of this legislation
fall within all budget functions that contain facilities and
properties other than 050 (national defense).
By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2012-2016
CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING
Sale of High-Value Federal Assets:a
Estimated Budget Authority.......................... 0 -129 -129 52 42 -164
Estimated Outlays................................... 0 -129 -129 52 42 -164
Sale of Property to the Women's History Museum:
Estimated Budget Authority.......................... 0 0 -50 0 0 -50
Estimated Outlays................................... 0 0 -50 0 0 -50
Sale of the Cotton Annex:
Estimated Budget Authority.......................... 0 -100 0 0 0 -100
Estimated Outlays................................... 0 -100 0 0 0 -100
Terminate Los Angeles Courthouse Project:b
Estimated Budget Authority.......................... 0 0 -20 0 0 -20
Estimated Outlays................................... 0 -15 -53 -73 -110 -251
Estimated Budget Authority...................... 0 -229 -199 52 42 -334
Estimated Outlays............................... 0 -244 -232 -21 -68 -565
CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
Biannual CPRC Recommendations:
Estimated Authorization Level....................... 97 15 15 15 15 157
Estimated Outlays................................... 39 41 39 19 19 157
Transfer FTC Building to NGA:
Estimated Authorization Level....................... 8 40 7 -7 -7 41
Estimated Outlays................................... 8 40 7 -7 -7 41
Estimated Authorization Level................... 105 55 22 8 8 198
Estimated Outlays............................... 47 81 46 12 12 198
Note: CPRC = Civilian Property Realignment Commission; FTC = Federal Trade Commission; NGA = National Gallery of
aProvisions to sell high-value federal assets would reduce direct spending by about $60 million over the 2012-
2021 period, CBO estimates.
bCBO estimates that ending the courthouse project and selling the building site would reduce direct spending by
$386 million over the next 10 years.
cOver the 2012-2021 period, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1734 would reduce direct spending by $595 million.
Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the
legislation will be enacted in fiscal year 2012, that the funds
authorized to be appropriated to the commission will be
provided, and that spending will follow historical patterns for
similar management efforts. This cost estimate is based on
information from the Federal Real Property Inventory database
that is maintained by GSA, on other specific information
provided by GSA and other agencies that manage federal
properties, and on budgetary information reported by the
Department of Defense (DoD) regarding its experiences with the
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative begun in 1988.
Sections 1 through 22 of the legislation would create the
CPRC and establish its authorities and responsibilities; the
remaining sections would direct GSA to undertake actions
regarding specific properties in Washington, D.C., and Los
Angeles, California. CBO's estimate of the impact those
provisions would have on direct spending and spending that is
subject to appropriation are described below.
Civilian property and realignment commission
H.R. 1734 would establish an independent commission,
similar to the commission that implemented the BRAC process,
with the aim of better managing the inventory of federal
civilian real property. Following procedures specified in the
bill, including getting input from GSA and other federal
agencies, the commission would make recommendations to the
President for selling, exchanging, consolidating, or
redeveloping federal property. If approved, those
recommendations would be implemented unless the Congress
enacted legislation to disapprove them. Under the bill, the
eight-member CPRC would terminate after six years.
H.R. 1734 would specify two major objectives for the CPRC.
First, within one year of the date of the legislation's
enactment, section 12 would require the commission to identify
and recommend the sale of a minimum of five high-value federal
properties with an estimated total fair market value of at
least $500 million. CBO estimates that auctioning high-value
properties as specified in the bill would result in additional
net budgetary savings of $164 million over the 2013-2016 period
and $60 million over the 2013-2021 period.
Second, the legislation would require the CPRC to make
biannual recommendations of property that could be sold,
disposed of, transferred, exchanged, consolidated,
reconfigured, redeveloped, or used to co-locate agency
operations in order to improve the cost-effectiveness of
managing the inventory of civilian real property.
CBO estimates that implementing those recommendations would
cost $157 million over the 2012-2016 period, assuming
appropriation of the necessary amounts. Those costs include:
$20 million that would be specifically authorized to be
appropriated to cover the CPRC's expenses and $62 million for
the proposed Asset Proceeds and Space Administration Fund,
which would be used to pay the upfront costs of reorganizing
agency operations. The estimated cost also includes $15 million
annually for other federal agencies to support the CPRC's work.
Direct Spending Savings from Sale of High-Value Federal
Assets. H.R. 1734 would require the CPRC to identify and
recommend for sale a minimum of five federal properties with a
combined market value of $500 million. The properties that
might be identified for sale are not specified, and CBO has no
information about which properties would ultimately be chosen.
Under the bill, they could not be excess or surplus to the
government's needs and would have to be sold in just over one
year. Agencies would be relocated after the sale of each
facility using sale proceeds to cover those costs, with private
purchasers taking possession some time later. Under H.R. 1734,
40 percent of the proceeds from those sales could be spent by
the CPRC to cover costs associated with implementing its
Based on information from private developers, CBO expects
that some private purchasers would be unlikely to pay the full
fair-market price for properties if they would have to wait
months or years before taking possession of them. However,
while time-consuming, this process--under which valuable
government assets are offered for sale and then a portion of
the proceeds are used to pay the cost of rearranging government
operations before the new owner can take control of the asset--
has been used before. For example, portions of the
electromagnetic spectrum used for communications by DoD and
other federal agencies have been sold to private-sector users
using a similar process. Those purchasers have agreed to delay
using those portions of the spectrum until federal agencies can
acquire new communications equipment to adjust their use of the
\1\This funding process was outlined in the Commercial Spectrum
Enhancement Act, Public Law 108-94.
Three factors would determine the net savings from the sale
of the assets required under H.R. 1734:
First, because private owners could not take
immediate possession of the federal buildings they
purchase, CBO expects offers to buy those buildings
would be discounted by around 20 percent--or $100
million on properties with a market value of $500
Second, based on information from GSA and
the Office of Management and Budget about the costs of
government real estate transactions and relocating
federal operations to new or renovated facilities, we
estimate that about three-quarters--or $300 million--of
the sales proceeds would be absorbed by relocation
costs, direct costs incurred by GSA or the landholding
agencies, and real estate commissions; and
Third, under the legislation, of the
remaining proceeds--$100 million--40 percent could be
spent by the commission, without further appropriation,
on other activities, and the remainder--about $60
million--would be deposited into the Treasury.
The amount of proceeds could vary significantly from this
estimate, depending on the particular properties identified by
the CPRC and the method chosen to relocate government
\2\Although not required by the legislation, this estimate assumes
that the high-value properties identified by the CPRC would be sold at
auction to the highest bidder and that whatever properties are sold
would be redeveloped for nonfederal use. If thc properties were sold
through arranged sales to private developers with the intent of
entering into agreements with those developers to lease properties
after improvements are made, the budgetary impact would probably be a
cost and not a savings. Such arrangements are sometimes used by federal
agencies under current law as an alternative way to finance the
construction of improvements and enhancements to federal properties.
Typically, such leasing agreements are more costly than seeking
appropriated funds to finance such improvements.
Discretionary Spending for Developing Biannual CPRC
Recommendations. During its six-year term, the CPRC would work
with GSA and other civilian agencies that have authority to
manage real property to develop lists of properties that could
be sold, disposed of, transferred, exchanged, consolidated,
reconfigured, redeveloped, or used to co-locate agency
operations. The bill would authorize the appropriation of $82
million for those purposes, and CBO estimates that federal
agencies would need another $75 million over the next five
years to help the commission develop recommendations to improve
the management of federal properties, resulting in a total
discretionary cost of $157 million over the next five years.
The sale, transfer, or disposal of federal property would
lead to a reduction in the need for appropriated funds to
maintain and improve federal properties. The Government
Accountability Office has reported that operation and
maintenance costs typically account for between 60 percent and
85 percent of the lifetime costs of owning a building.\3\ Some
of those amounts would be eliminated even if the proceeds from
selling or transferring a particular property were negligible.
\3\Government Accountability Office, Opportunities to Reduce
Potential Duplication in Government Programs. Save Tax Dollars, and
Enhance Revenue, GAO-11-318SP (March 2011), p. 222, http://gao.gov/
In 2009, government agencies, including DoD, reported that
they spent about $1.7 billion to operate about 45,000
underutilized federal buildings and about $0.3 billion to
operate about 10,000 buildings classified as excess.\4\ Some of
those buildings are only slightly underutilized, and some of
the space characterized as underutilized is not readily usable.
Still, restructuring building occupancy to increase utilization
of some facilities so that others could be disposed of and
disposing of excess properties would eliminate some annual
operating costs and thus reduce future spending if
appropriations were reduced by corresponding amounts. However,
most of such savings would have to come from consolidating
existing operations and disposing of buildings that are
currently being used.
\4\The Federal Real Property Council. FY 2009 Federal Real Property
Statistics (September 2010), p.8.
Over the 2012-2016 period, however, CBO does not expect
that transactions undertaken as a result of the CPRC's
recommendations would result in any significant net savings in
annual operating costs for federal civilian facilities. Prior
experience in this area--particularly DoD's experience with
BRAC--suggests that efforts to reduce costs by increasing the
efficiency of property use typically require significant
spending up front to rebuild or relocate facilities before
savings can be realized. Those savings would take the form of
reduced need for annual appropriations to operate federal
facilities. For BRAC, those upfront costs were covered
primarily by increases in annual appropriations. Information
from DoD indicates that the first four rounds of BRAC base
closings had a net cost of $22 billion over 10 years.\5\
\5\DoD budget information indicates that the most recent BRAC round
(2005) had a five-year net cost of about $30 billion and an estimated
ten-year net cost of almost $20 billion. Over the past 20 years, more
than 350 military installations have been sold or conveyed to
nonfederal entities through the 13RAC process. Proceeds from sales have
amounted to about $1 billion--an average of less than $50 million a
Without similar upfront resources or some other way to
implement its recommendations, CBO expects that the CPRC would
struggle to make a measurable change in the long-term costs of
operating and maintaining federal civilian properties. In CBO's
judgment, the opportunity to generate upfront resources from
the ongoing sale of excess federal properties for substantial
sums is not supported by the historical record of such
sales.\6\ Although the federal government sells property on an
ongoing basis, the net budgetary impact is quite small. Net
proceeds from the sale of civilian real property varies from
year to year but has totaled about $70 million over the past
five years.\7\ Opportunities to sell more valuable properties
that are not considered excess to the federal government's
needs exist. However, as explained above under the discussion
on high-value property sales, the net savings from such
transactions would be diminished by federal rebuilding or
\6\According to information from GSA, the government has engaged in
almost 1,400 transactions involving disposal of civilian property over
the past 10 years in some way other than destruction. Of those, about
125 properties have been transferred to another federal agency; almost
235 have been made available through public benefit conveyances for
nominal amounts; 84 were conveyed through negotiated sales to state and
local governments; and the majority of properties, almost 950, were
disposed of through public sale.
\7\Many of the largest civilian landholding agencies (excluding the
Department of the Interior), such as the Departments of Veterans
Affairs, the Treasury, and Energy, as well as GSA, already have
authorities under current law to enter into enhanced-use leases with
the private sector, which often prove more lucrative than sales. Those
arrangements allow agencies to lease underused land and facilities for
cash or in-kind services; the agencies thereby secure private
financing--outside the appropriations process--for construction or
renovations of buildings, power plants, and other infrastructure for
the agencies' use.
Directives to GSA regarding properties in Washington, D.C., and Los
Enacting the remaining sections of H.R. 1734 would yield
direct spending savings of almost $520 million over the 2012-
2021 period, CBO estimates. Assuming appropriation of the
necessary amounts, CBO also estimates that implementing those
sections would cost about $40 million in discretionary funds
over the next five years. Specifically, those provisions would
require GSA to:
Transfer the Washington, D.C., headquarters
building of the Federal Trade Commission to the
National Gallery of Art and move FTC offices to a
privately owned building that has already been leased
by the federal government;
Enter into agreements with the National
Women's History Museum (a private corporation) to sell
to the museum a specific parcel of federal land;
Study the possible sale of specific portions
of the Department of Energy's headquarters building in
Washington, D.C., and to complete that transaction if
GSA determines offices currently occupying that space
could be relocated while allowing for a net gain to the
government of $200 million or more; and
Sell certain property that the agency
acquired to build a federal courthouse in Los Angeles,
California, and terminate the courthouse project.
Transfer FTC building to NGA. H.R. 1734 would direct GSA to
transfer the FTC headquarters building to the NGA by December
31, 2012. The building would be renamed the North Building of
the National Gallery of Art. Under this bill, after the
transfer, employees of the FTC Headquarters building would be
relocated to leased space in a privately owned building
(Constitution Center, located at 400 7th Street, S.W., in
Assuming appropriation of the necessary funds, CBO
estimates that implementing this provision would cost $41
million over the 2012-2016 period, mostly for relocating the
FTC. That estimate is net of savings from terminating certain
NGA office leases and reflects the assumption that the FTC
would occupy office space that is currently being leased by the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and that would
otherwise remain vacant for at least the next year. The SEC and
GSA are currently considering alternative uses for the space,
which the SEC leased but no longer requires. It is possible
that the lease for the portion of Constitution Center affected
by this bill will be terminated or used by another federal
agency before the FTC could be relocated under H.R. 1734 late
in calendar year 2012. If Constitution Center were not
available, GSA would need to build or lease space for the
National Gallery of Art. The NGA is housed primarily in two
buildings on the Mall (the West and East Buildings) that were
presented as gifts to the United States from private donors in
1941 and 1978. The NGA currently has two leases for office
space and a service agreement to store artwork in other
buildings. According to the NGA, more space will be needed in
the future to accommodate additional administrative staff and
to display and store additional artwork.
Under H.R. 1734, CBO expects that the NGA would move some
of its administrative staff into the FTC building in 2013 and
begin to redesign the building's interior for its use. We
estimate that the NGA would spend about $20 million over the
2015-2016 period, primarily for moving costs, initial design
work, and office equipment. Those costs would be more than
offset by savings from ending two of the NGA's leases for
administrative office space. Under current law, those leases
will cost about $7 million over the 2014-2016 period and could
be terminated if the NGA were able to use the FTC building for
administrative offices without significant modifications. On
balance, CBO estimates that net savings to the NGA would total
about $2 million over the next five years, assuming future
appropriations to the agency are reduced because of its lower
operating costs under the bill.
The bill specifies that, after transfer of the building
from the FTC to the NGA, all initial costs of remodeling,
renovating, and reconstructing it would be funded by private
donations. The NGA estimates that it would cost at least $150
million to modify the structure, mostly to create new areas to
display art; those costs do not include other possible
improvements to the area, such as a tunnel from the new
facility to the East and West Buildings.
Although H.R. 1734 states that initial modification costs
may not come from appropriated funds, it is unclear whether the
NGA could attract sufficient donations from private individuals
to cover those costs. Since the original buildings were donated
to the NGA, all renovations and repairs to those facilities
have been completed with appropriated funds. For example, the
NGA is midway through a large renovation project that was begun
in 1999 and has involved more than $140 million worth of
improvements, primarily to the West Building. The NGA is also
working on an $85 million project to repair the exterior marble
veneer of the East Building. Both projects are being undertaken
using appropriated funds.
Federal Trade Commission. After the transfer of the FTC
headquarters building to the National Gallery of Art, H.R. 1734
would direct GSA to relocate FTC employees from the current
headquarters building to leased space at a specified location
(a portion of Constitution Center). That location is currently
under a 10-year lease entered into by the Securities and
Exchange Commission in July 2010. However, the SEC has no plans
to use the space that the FTC would occupy.
According to the FTC, the commission's headquarters
building houses more than 700 employees, contractors, and
children (in a day care center). Based on information from GSA
and the FTC, CBO estimates that reconfiguring the space,
relocating the employees from the FTC headquarters to
Constitution Center, and installing furniture, computers, and
telecommunications equipment would cost $42 million over the
2012-2016 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary
After the current 10-year lease for space in Constitution
Center expires, the FTC headquarters employees would still need
office space. At that time, GSA would need to build a new
headquarters facility or enter into a long-term lease of space
in Constitution Center or another privately owned facility.
Sale of Property to Women's History Museum. Section 23
would authorize the sale of federal property near the
intersection of 12th Street and Independence Avenue, S.W., in
Washington, D.C., to the Women's History Museum Corporation.
(Section 25 would also allow the Women's Museum right of first
refusal on the western portion of the Forrestal building on
Independence Avenue in Washington, D.C.) The legislation would
direct GSA to complete the conveyance within three years. Under
the bill, no federal funds could be used to purchase the site
or to design and construct a museum on the site; the property
would revert to the federal government if the corporation uses
it for any purpose other than a museum or fails to commence
work on the museum within five years after enactment of H.R.
1734. Net proceeds from the sale would be deposited into the
Federal Buildings Fund, and spending of those funds would be
subject to future appropriation.
GSA currently controls the property near the intersection
of 12th Street and Independence Avenue, S.W., which consists
primarily of a small parking lot; the agency reports that it
has no plans to declare the property excess to its needs. Thus,
under current law, CBO does not expect that the property would
be conveyed for a public purpose or sold over the next 10
An assessment of the property's value has not yet been
completed. That assessment would consider a variety of factors,
including the property's highest and best use, the presence of
any hazardous substances or zoning restrictions on the site,
and a final land survey. Based on recent property sales in the
District of Columbia, CBO estimates that net proceeds from this
sale would total about $50 million in 2014. That sale would be
recorded in the budget as a reduction in direct spending of $50
million in 2014.
Consider Sale of a Portion of the Department of Energy
Headquarters Building. Section 25 would require GSA to
determine whether it could sell most of the Forrestal Building
(DOE headquarters located on Independence Avenue in Washington,
D.C.) and build a new federally owned facility to house the
relocated DOE employees while still realizing estimated net
proceeds of at least $200 million from the sale. If GSA
believes such a transaction were possible, the Women's History
Museum would have the right of first refusal to purchase a
specified portion of the Forrestal building.
If the Forrestal Building is sold, the bill would prohibit
the federal government from leasing back any portion of the
building, including during the period of time required to
design and construct the new DOE facility and relocate the
agency. Based on information from GSA, the National Capitol
Planning Commission, and private developers, CBO expects that
proceeds from the sale would be significantly diminished by the
timing and special financing that would be required for the
sale because of that prohibition and the need to expend sales
proceeds to relocate the agency. Thus, CBO estimates that net
receipts would be less than $200 million and therefore that GSA
would not sell the Forrestal property.
Sale of the Cotton Annex. If the Forrestal property was not
sold, the legislation would allow the Cotton Annex to be sold;
the Cotton Annex is a building roughly bounded by 12th Street,
Independence Avenue, Maryland Avenue, the Forrestal Building,
and L'Enfant Plaza in southwest Washington, D.C. An assessment
of the value of the Cotton Annex property has not been
completed, but based on recent property sales in Washington,
CBO expects that proceeds would probably be around $100
million.\8\ Under the bill, those proceeds from the sale would
be deposited into the Federal Buildings Fund, and spending of
those funds would be subject to future appropriation. For this
estimate, CBO assumes that the property would be sold in 2013.
\8\ That estimate reflects the assumption that the Cotton Annex
would be sold at public auction for cash and that the government would
not lease back the property. If the property is sold to the private
sector and leased back to the government, the budget might record a
cost from the sale rather than a savings, depending on the terms of the
Terminate the Los Angeles Courthouse Project. In 2000, the
Congress authorized GSA to begin designing a new courthouse in
downtown Los Angeles and has appropriated about $400 million
for the project. GSA spent $34 million to design the
courthouse, purchase a building site, and prepare the site.
Under current law, CBO expects construction will begin in
fiscal year 2013. Section 26 would prohibit GSA from using
already appropriated funds to construct the new courthouse;
thus, CBO estimates that enacting this provision would reduce
spending by $366 million (the appropriated amount that remains
unspent) over the 2014-2019 period. (Because that savings would
result from enactment of this legislation, it would be recorded
as a reduction in direct spending for pay-as-you-go purposes.)
In addition, the section would require GSA to sell the Los
Angeles building site at fair market value. CBO estimates that
the proceeds from the sale of the property would be about $20
million in fiscal 2014. Net proceeds from the sale would be
deposited into the Federal Buildings Fund, and spending of
those proceeds would be subject to future appropriation.
CBO estimates that total savings from ending the courthouse
project and selling the site would be $386 million over the
Pay-As-You-Go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go
Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or
revenues. The net changes in outlays that are subject to those
pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the following table.
Enacting the legislation would have no effect on revenues.
CBO ESTIMATE OF THE STATUTORY PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS FOR H.R. 1734, THE CIVILIAN PROPERTY REALIGNMENT ACT, ORDERED REPORTED ON OCTOBER 13, 2011
By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2012-2016 2012-2021
NET INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE DEFICIT
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact.................. 0 -244 -232 -21 -68 -51 3 18 0 0 -565 -595
Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1734
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state,
local, or tribal governments.
Estimate prepared by: Federal spending: Matthew Pickford
and Ryan Miller; Impact on state, local, and tribal
governments: Elizabeth Cove Delisle; Impact on the private
sector: Paige Piper/Bach.
Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
Advisory of Earmarks
Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House
of Representatives, the Committee is required to include a list
of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited
tariff benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of
rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. No
provision in the bill includes an earmark, limited tax benefit,
or limited tariff benefit under clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of
Federal Mandate Statement
The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of federal
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget
Office pursuant to section 423 of the ``Unfunded Mandates
Reform Act'' (P.L. 104-4).
Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local,
or tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 1734 does not
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.
Advisory Committee Statement
No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b)
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this
Applicability of Legislative Branch
The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public
services or accommodations within the meaning of section
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (P.L. 104-1).
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported
In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is
proposed is shown in roman):
TITLE 40, UNITED STATES CODE
* * * * * * *
SUBTITLE II--PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND WORKS
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
CHAPTER 33--ACQUISITION, CONSTRUCTION, AND ALTERATION
3301. Definitions and nonapplication.
* * * * * * *
3317. Limitation on leasing authority of other agencies.
* * * * * * *
Sec. 3307. Congressional approval of proposed projects
(a) * * *
(b) Transmission to Congress of Prospectus of Proposed
Project.--To secure consideration for the approval referred to
in subsection (a), the Administrator of General Services shall
transmit to Congress a prospectus of the proposed facility,
(1) * * *
* * * * * * *
(6) a statement of rents and other housing costs
currently being paid by the Government for federal
agencies to be housed in the building to be
constructed, altered, or acquired, or the space to be
(7) with respect to any prospectus for the
construction, alteration, or acquisition of any
building or space to be leased, an estimate of the
future energy performance of the building or space and
a specific description of the use of energy efficient
and renewable energy systems, including photovoltaic
systems, in carrying out the project[.]; and
(8) a statement of how the proposed project is
consistent with section 11(b) of the Civilian Property
* * * * * * *
Sec. 3317. Limitation on leasing authority of other agencies
(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law,
no executive agency may lease space for the purposes of a
public building as defined under section 3301, except as
provided under section 585, and the provisions in this chapter.
(b) Public Building.--For the purposes of this section, the
term ``public building'' shall include leased space.
(c) Further Exclusions.--This section shall not apply to--
(1) properties that are excluded for reasons of
national security by the President; and
(2) properties of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
(d) Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be construed
as creating new authority for executive agencies to enter into
leases or limit the authority of the Administration under
* * * * * * *
We agree with our Republican colleagues on the need to
address the management of Federal real property. In fact, in
the 110th and 111th Congresses, the House, under Democratic
leadership, held over 15 hearings on the management of the
General Services Administration (GSA) Public Building Service
(PBS) real estate portfolio that encouraged GSA to move forward
on the redevelopment of several underutilized properties, to
sell properties where appropriate, and to be more decisive in
its management of its real estate portfolio. Because of our
interest in such improvements, an interest also reflected in
President Obama's Fiscal Year 2012 budget priorities, it had
been our hope that H.R. 1734, ``The Civilian Property
Realignment Act,'' would provide for a sustained commitment to
these priorities, and we looked forward to working with our
Republican colleagues this Congress in a bipartisan manner to
swiftly pass this legislation. Regrettably, H.R. 1734, as
amended and ordered reported on a vote of 30-22, fails to
reflect those mutual goals.
In addition, we are deeply concerned that H.R. 1734
includes provisions that extinguish the claims of homeless
providers on Federal properties and eliminates environmental
review as a consideration of the Civilian Property Realignment
Commission when making decisions concerning the realignment and
disposal of Federal property. H.R. 1734 also includes several
controversial provisions, including the transfer of the Apex
building in Washington, DC, from GSA to the National Gallery of
Art, the sale of the Department of Energy Headquarters in
Washington, DC, and the termination of the Los Angeles,
California, courthouse construction project. Moreover, we
believe the controversial aspects of this legislation will
seriously jeopardize the enactment of legislation needed to
``rightsize'' the Federal real estate inventory.
I. HOMELESS PROVIDER RIGHTS AND OTHER PUBLIC BENEFIT CONVEYANCES
We are concerned that the bill eliminates a review of the
suitability of Federal property for use by homeless providers
and a review of possible transfers to non-profits, local and
state governments before they are disposed of through public
auction. Title V of the McKinney-Vento Act (42 U.S.C. 11411)
provides an exclusive right of first refusal to homeless
service providers to apply to own or lease any surplus federal
property at no charge. Non-profit groups, state agencies, and
local governments can also apply for surplus property at less
than fair market value under several public benefit conveyance
provisions. The bill precludes the review of Federal property
for a possible transfer to homeless providers and other public
benefit conveyances by the Civilian Property Realignment
Commission. By extinguishing those rights, the bill limits the
pool of Federal properties available for transfer to homeless
service providers. In these difficult economic times,
extinguishing this first right of refusal would be a severe
blow to homeless service providers that have already had to
deal with a significant downturn in charitable giving during
the recent recession.
According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and
Poverty (NLCHP), Title V has provided nearly 500 pieces of
Federal property to homeless service providers for use as
shelters, transitional and permanent housing, case management
offices, food pantries, job training, mental health and
substance abuse treatment facilities, and childcare centers.
Further, NLCHP indicates that each year more than 2.4 million
Americans benefit from the assistance provided through these
otherwise vacant properties. On July 27, 2011, the NLCHP
testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee that, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors
2010--Hunger and Homelessness Survey, family homelessness has
skyrocketed during the recession, with unemployment and a lack
of affordable housing driving a nine percent increase in the
last year, a number that is expected to continue to increase.
Moreover, the bill does not require that homeless advocates
or service providers be represented on the Civilian Property
Realignment Commission nor that properties be reviewed for
potential use to provide homeless assistance if one or more
Commission members requests it. During the Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure markup of H.R. 1734 on
October 13, 2011, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public
Buildings, and Emergency Management Ranking Member Eleanor
Holmes Norton offered an amendment to restore a review of
Federal properties for homeless service providers. Regrettably,
the amendment was rejected on a vote of 21-27.
In addition to the waiver of homeless provider
consideration, the bill eliminates public benefit conveyances
of Federal property to non-profits, local and state governments
for no consideration or less than fair market value. To qualify
for a public benefit conveyance, nonprofit groups, state
agencies, and local governments must express interest in a
property during the surplus screening process and apply to the
specific sponsoring Federal agency to acquire the surplus
property for a particular public use. For example, if a city
government identified a parcel of land adjacent to a state park
that was determined to be surplus to the needs of the Federal
Government and it was deemed unsuitable for homeless services
providers, then the city government could apply for a public
benefit conveyance of the land for park and recreations use.
The Department of Interior, the sponsoring agency for this
particular use, would then review their application. If the
application was approved, GSA could transfer the property to
city at no cost on the condition that the city would then be
required to maintain that area as a park or recreation area in
Because one of the goals of the legislation is to expedite
disposal, it is counterproductive to exclude public benefit
conveyances. Given the sluggish economy and real estate market,
the Federal Government should retain as many disposal options
as possible, including public benefit conveyances. Although
public conveyances do not often result in monetary
consideration, these conveyances can eliminate the costs to the
government to maintain these properties and offer an additional
tool to reduce the real estate footprint of the Federal
II. NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT WAIVER
We are concerned that the bill, as reported, would waive
the application of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
to some actions of the Commission. Section 18(b) waives
compliance with NEPA for the actions of the President, the
Commission, or any Federal agency, when considering any of the
Commission's recommendations except during the process of
property disposal and during the process of relocating
functions from a property being disposed of or realigned to
This provision is unnecessary because the Commission would
not be considered a Federal agency for purposes of the NEPA,
but the preclusion of an environmental review unnecessarily
limits the ability of the Commission to consider all factors in
developing recommendations. In addition, since the legislation
requires any final action to realign, consolidate, or dispose
of Federal real estate to be reviewed in compliance with NEPA,
a full review would be appropriate considering that an
inadequate review could cause serious problems later. For
example, the 2005 Base Realignment Commission (BRAC) made the
decision to move several Defense functions to the Mark Center
in Alexandria, Virginia, without the proper consideration of
the effects and need for additional infrastructure to support
the thousands of workers who were moved to the area. This BRAC
move to an already congested area has caused considerable
disruption locally because there are not enough transportation
options to sustain the influx of nearly 6,000 workers. An
environmental review by the BRAC Commission may well have
detected this issue and enabled it to be addressed.
The Mark Center example underscores the importance of
carefully conducting an environmental review of any decision to
close a facility, relocate, or re-configure a Federal facility.
Unfortunately, however, the current bill precludes a full
review of the actions until after a decision to sell or dispose
of a piece of Federal property has already been made. During
the Committee markup of the bill, Subcommittee Ranking Member
Norton offered an amendment to strike this section to ensure
that these Federal Government actions do not create
unanticipated impacts to local communities. Regrettably, the
amendment was rejected on a vote of 19-24.
III. DIRECTED REAL ESTATE SALES
We are also concerned about the directed sales and transfer
of several valuable federal properties because of the lack of
rigorous analysis of the potential sales and potential long-
term losses to the U.S. taxpayer if Federal workers are moved
out of Federally owned space to more expensive privately owned
commercial space. At a time when the Federal Government should
continue reducing its reliance on leased space, H.R. 1734 seeks
to sell both the parcel of land where the current Department of
Energy headquarters is located in the District of Columbia, as
well as a parcel of land in Los Angeles, California, intended
for construction of a U.S. courthouse. The bill proposes to
sell these Federal properties with no analysis conducted on
whether the sales are in the best interests of the Federal
Government and, thus, the U.S. taxpayer. Both the Los Angeles,
California, and Washington, DC, metropolitan areas have a
significant Federal presence and currently house several
Federal agencies in long-term, expensive, privately leased
commercial office space. By mandating the sale of these
properties within a time certain, the government loses leverage
in any sales transaction and the possibility of GSA using its
existing authority to develop government-owned space and
further relieve the need to rely on costly, privately leased
commercial office space is foreclosed upon. Additionally, the
bill authorizes the transfer of one Federal agency from
government-owned space to leased commercial office space.
Transfer of the Apex Building
Section 24 of H.R. 1734 directs the transfer of
administrative jurisdiction of the government-owned Apex
Building in the District of Columbia, currently occupied by the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to the National Gallery of Art.
The bill further directs GSA to relocate the FTC to 160,000
square feet of space in a privately owned commercial office
building located at 400 7th Street, S.W., in Washington, DC.
The Apex building is a strong income-producing property
generating sufficient funds to meet its reinvestment needs. To
pay for this real estate transfer, the bill eliminates funding
for the GSA energy and water retrofit and conservation program
and the GSA wellness and fitness programs for fiscal years 2012
and 2013. Evicting the FTC from its headquarters and mandating
that it assume office space in a privately owned building is at
odds with many longstanding practices of this Committee.
Historically, the Committee has made a vigorous effort to
ensure that agency headquarters functions are located in
government-owned space rather than leased commercial office
space because leasing such space is generally significantly
more expensive than housing agencies in government-owned space.
In addition, prior to this bill, the Committee has never
mandated the transfer of an agency to a specific, privately
owned, leased space.
Section 24 of H.R. 1734 would also deprive the Federal
Buildings Fund (FBF), a revolving fund used for the repair and
construction of Federal buildings, of the $6 million worth of
rent that the FTC currently pays, while giving rent-free space
to the National Gallery of Art. The bill expands one Federal
agency at the expense of all the other agencies housed in
Federally owned space. It gives the National Gallery of Art an
additional 300,000 square feet with a new responsibility to
renovate and maintain a third facility on the National Mall.
This Committee has consistently been concerned about the
ability of GSA to use funds generated by the FBF to maintain
its real estate inventory and this section would further
undermine the ability of GSA to maintain its inventory.
Sale of Department of Energy headquarters
Section 25 of H.R. 1734 directs GSA to sell the parcel of
land currently occupied by the Department of Energy if GSA
determines it can receive $200 million in net proceeds.
Proceeds from that sale would be used by GSA to provide for a
building of up to 320,000 square feet of government-owned
replacement space for the Department of Energy. None of the
existing improvements on the property would be available for
lease back to the Federal Government. The National Women's
History Museum would have the first right of refusal for a
portion of the parcel. This provision has had no public
hearings to evaluate the merit of replacing the headquarters of
the Department of Energy and it is unclear how selling this
Federal property would benefit the U.S. taxpayer over the long
Sale of Los Angeles, CA courthouse site
Section 26 of H.R. 1734 prohibits the use of appropriated
funds for constructing a new U.S. courthouse in Los Angeles,
California. It also directs GSA to sell, at fair market value,
any property acquired to build a new courthouse in Los Angeles.
Congress has already appropriated the funds for the Los
Angeles courthouse and GSA is currently proceeding with the
procurement. Implementation of this provision would stop an
ongoing procurement and sell a site in a part of the country
where GSA has a significant need for more Federally owned
commercial office space and existing commercial office rents
are among the highest in the nation. We acknowledge that the
merits of the Los Angeles, CA, courthouse going forward using
existing courtroom sharing guidelines are not clear and this
Committee has been clear in its mandate that all new courthouse
construction be reconsidered under the sharing guidelines.
However, selling this site with no analysis of the commercial
office space needs in Los Angeles simply does not make sense.
Although we share our Republican colleagues' desire to
consolidate the real estate holdings of Federal agencies in
Federally owned space, and reduce private commercial office
space costs, we are concerned that H.R. 1734--which weakens
environmental reviews, deprives homeless service providers of
access to Federal properties, and sells two large parcels of
land without any analysis of the merit of the sale--will not
advance our mutual goal of making the Federal Government a
better asset manager. We, therefore, oppose H.R. 1734 as
reported by the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Eleanor Holmes Norton.