The Subcommittee conducts oversight of programs addressing the federal management of emergencies and natural disasters, oversees agencies and programs promoting economic development, and has oversight of federal real estate programs.
Cutting Waste: GSA & Empty Federal Buildings: In 2012, the GSA became notorious for wasting millions of dollars on outrageous agency conferences, dubious employee awards programs, junkets to Pacific islands, and bloated bonuses, including for officials responsible for such abuses.
The Committee has helped to uncover this blatant waste – from the $800,000+ Las Vegas vacation, to a weeklong trip to Hawaii for GSA officials to attend a one-hour ribbon-cutting ceremony, to $20,000 blown on drumsticks for the attendees of a GSA awards ceremony in the Washington, DC area – and make sure this agency’s free-spending ways come to an end.
However, these examples represent just the tip of the iceberg of the waste at the GSA.
Billions of dollars continue to be wasted by this agency sitting on its assets. The GSA’s mismanagement of property has resulted in empty and underutilized federal buildings and courthouses sitting idle, draining the federal treasury when they could be generating revenue for the nation or be used with significantly greater efficiency.
By holding hearings in empty buildings in Washington, DC and across the country, and by introducing legislation to improve the management of federal property (H.R. 1734, the the Civilian Property Realignment Act) and reform the GSA (H.R. 6430, the Public Buildings Reform Act), the Committee is working to cut waste at this agency and the federal government. (more information)
Reforming FEMA & Improving Cost-Effectiveness of Disaster Programs: To cut red tape in the programs of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and reduce the costs of recovering from natural disasters, help communities rebound from disasters more quickly and cost-effectively, and save taxpayers millions of dollars, Chairman Denham introduced the FEMA Reauthorization Act. The House of Representatives approved this legislation on September 19, 2012. (more information)
“The Federal Government Must Stop Sitting on Its Assets”: With deficits over a trillion dollars the federal government simply cannot afford to sit on money-losing properties and empty federal buildings. The federal government is the single largest property owner in the country, but the mismanagement of these properties causes millions of dollars to be wasted in the operation of vacant and nearly vacant government buildings, sometimes while leasing costly office space in the same areas. The Committee is working to improve the federal government’s management of these and other assets in order to save taxpayers money.
A Committee Republican staff report released in October 2010, entitled “Sitting On Our Assets,” identifies significant potential savings to taxpayers through the improved management of federal property and other assets. (more information)
Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management
585 Ford HOB
Washington, DC 20515