Congressman Murphy working to remove government requirement on empty federal buildings

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 8:21 PM EST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WITN) - A Republican task force report is prompting Congressman Greg Murphy (NC-03) to reintroduce a bill to remove a requirement on empty or near empty government buildings.

Murphy said the inspiration for the policy is a Republican Study Committee Government, Efficiency, Accountability and Reform (GEAR) Task Force report.

He cited a 2017 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report that found 3,120 federal buildings were vacant and 7,859 were partially empty or underutilized. If space is no longer in use and an agency would like to sell or lease it, federal code currently limits the ability to do so by requiring the General Services Administration verify if another agency can use the office space before it is eligible to be put on the market, significantly hindering the process.

The congressman said the Eliminate Agency Excess Space Act would remove this requirement, allowing agencies to more easily sell or lease unused or underused office space. The revenue would be returned to the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury for the sole purpose of deficit reduction.

Murphy said, “Our nation’s crippling national debt has major implications for us, our children and our grandchildren. “We should be looking to reduce it at every turn, particularly given the massive amount of money we have spent during this pandemic.

According to Citizens Against Government Waste, this change would save the federal government $15 billion over five years.

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