WASHINGTON — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, along with Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and James Lankford (R-Okla.), introduced the Federal Asset Sale and Transfer Act Tuesday to reduce the federal government’s inventory of unneeded real properties and the cost of maintaining them. Johnson said this following committee passage on Wednesday:
“The federal government is sitting on thousands of federal properties that could be consolidated or sold. Because it doesn’t dispose of them, it wastes millions of taxpayer dollars each year in overhead costs. This bill will simplify and accelerate the disposal process for these costly properties. This is a bipartisan effort, and I am pleased that we can build upon the previous work of Sens. Mark Warner and Roy Blunt, who spearheaded the Civilian Property Realignment Act.”
“Too many federal properties are unneeded and underused. We need to take a businesslike approach to carefully review federal real estate holdings and look for opportunities to downsize,” Sen. Warner said. “By aggressively looking for ways to consolidate and sell these federal properties, we can save taxpayers billions of dollars by reducing maintenance and operations costs for years to come.”
“The federal government is the largest property owner and manager in the country and must do a better job in managing assets,” said Sen. Blunt. “I am pleased to work with Senator Johnson to continue the efforts that Senator Warner and I have done. This bipartisan legislation will help consolidate and maximize the footprint and use of federal buildings which will save taxpayers money for years to come. “
The Federal Asset Sale and Transfer Act creates a process to cut through the red tape that prevents agencies from disposing of excess property in a timely and effective way. It requires that at least $500 million in unneeded properties be disposed of in the initial phase of sales. Proceeds from these sales will be used to carry out more property disposals, resulting in savings in operations and maintenance.