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Barletta Introduces Bill to Save Taxpayers More than $500 Million Each Year

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WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) introduced H.R. 6194, the Real Estate Assets and Leasing (REAL) Reform Act of 2018, which builds upon his work as Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management to save taxpayer dollars through better management of federal real estate.  The REAL Reform Act has the potential to save taxpayers more than $500 million annually through a 20% reduction in federal lease costs.

“In my role as subcommittee chairman, I’ve been focused on reducing the federal footprint by consolidating space and improving space utilization, and I’m proud to say that through these efforts, we have already saved taxpayers $3.7 billion, but there is more work to be done,” Barletta said.  “The REAL Reform Act builds on this progress by allowing the government to negotiate better rental rates and concessions, which ultimately means more savings for the taxpayer.  I thank Chairman Shuster for his constant support on this important issue, and look forward to continuing our efforts to make Washington work for the people of Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation.”

Specifically, the REAL Reform Act provides the General Services Administration (GSA), which is responsible for the management of federal real estate assets, with the tools necessary to negotiate leases that save taxpayer dollars.  By cutting red tape, we can ensure the federal government is able to take advantage of the current buyer’s market.  The bill also strengthens oversight of federal construction projects and ensures that such projects remain on or under budget.

GSA owns or leases over 9,600 real estate assets and maintains an inventory of more than 370 million square feet of workspace for 1.1 million federal employees.  Currently, more than half of GSA’s space inventory is in commercially leased space, which costs taxpayers more than $5.5 billion each year.  Since becoming Chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee in 2013, Barletta has saved taxpayers $3.7 billion by eliminating unnecessary building projects and better utilizing federal space.  In his role as chairman, he has held numerous hearings in Washington, DC and different regions of the country, providing oversight and holding federal bureaucrats at the General Services Administration (GSA) accountable for their use of office space and taxpayer resources.

The REAL Reform Act also includes provisions to ensure mothers have access to lactation rooms in public buildings, and improves public building security by establishing more accountability and oversight of the Federal Protective Service (FPS).

For more information on the REAL Reform Act and Barletta’s work as subcommittee chairman, click here.

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