Government affairs

Legislative Updates

House passes bill to sell, consolidate excess real estate, including postal properties

The House has passed the Federal Assets Sale and Transfer (FAST) Act of 2016 (H.R. 4465).

Introduced by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), H.R. 4465 calls for selling and consolidating nearly 254,000 federal properties—including postal properties—deemed to be underutilized.

If passed, the legislation specifically would create a “Public Buildings Reform Board” to determine which federal properties should be closed. Two-thirds of the board would be appointed by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); the remaining members would be appointed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

Under H.R. 4465, this board would face a strict mandate to sell $8 billion worth of federal property in the first six years, with nearly $40 million authorized to fund the board’s recommendations.

The bill also calls for the creation of a database of all federal properties considered excess, surplus, underutilized or unutilized, as a means of preventing a future stockpiling of under-utilized property.

Similar legislation (S. 2375) was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), but the Senate’s measure hasn’t gained any traction since it was referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

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