A bill passed by the House on Tuesday and introduced by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, eases the fast sell-off of excess government property. (Utah Republican Party)
Even in election-year hyperpartisan times such as these, there appears to be one issue both parties can rally behind: getting rid of excess federal property.
The House on Tuesday approved by a 403-0 vote a bill that would encourage the speedy sell-off of excess buildings.
The bill would require the government to put its 15 most valuable excess buildings up for auction. When one of the buildings sells, the General Services Administration and Office of Management and Budget would have 15 days to add a new property to the auction list.
The 2011 Excess Federal Building and Property Disposal Act would not apply to U.S. Postal Service buildings or facilities related to national security.
Under the five-year pilot program, GSA would also provide agencies with technical assistance in identifying and disposing of excess properties governmentwide..
After reimbursing administrative costs associated with the sale of a property, 98 percent of the proceeds would return to the Treasury's general fund. Two percent would be given as grants to providers of homelessness services.
The legislation requires the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study of the program after two years.
"With $15 trillion in debt, the federal government can no longer afford to foot the bill for excess buildings," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who introduced the bill in early 2011, in a statement.