Murphy Introduces Legislation to Save $15 Billion in Federal Spending

March 9, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – On Monday, March 9, Congressman Greg Murphy, M.D. (NC-03) introduced H.R. 6128, the Eliminate Agency Excess Space Act. The inspiration for this policy was featured in the Republican Study Committee Government, Efficiency, Accountability and Reform (GEAR) Task Force’s recent report, “Power, Practices, Personnel: 100+ Commonsense Solutions to a Better Government.”

According to a 2017 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, 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 their ability to do so by requiring the General Services Administration to verify if another agency can use the office space before it is eligible to be put on the market, significantly hindering the process.

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

“A lot of us came to Congress looking to tackle America’s $23 trillion debt crisis, and this piece of legislation would help do just that. By simply allowing federal agencies to more efficiently put unneeded office space on the market, we can save the taxpayer a whopping $15 billion over five years. When I promised eastern North Carolinians I would fight to cut government waste in Washington, D.C., I meant it. Many thanks to my colleagues and outside organizations for supporting this measure and I hope for its passage soon,” said Murphy.

“Taxpayers deserve better than to have their hard-earned money wasted on unused and unoccupied federal office space. I thank Congressman Murphy for his leadership in advocating for good government, and I'm proud to join him on this commonsense bill to rein in the sprawling federal bureaucracy. It's one of many proposals Americans can expect to see come out of the Republican Study Committee's solutions-oriented agenda to make our government more efficient, effective, and accountable,” said Congressman Mike Johnson (LA-04), Chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

“There is nothing more sensible than getting rid of excess property, which is why the Eliminate Agency Excess Space Act should be supported by every member of Congress.  The legislation will give the tools needed to identify and eliminate unneeded real estate and save taxpayers $15 billion over five years,” said Tom Schatz, President of Council for Citizens Against Government Waste.

“It's no secret that inefficiencies in our government lead to wasted taxpayer dollars and bloat our national debt. Thankfully, Congressman Murphy's commonsense legislation picks at low-hanging fruit to improve how federal agencies manage unused or underutilized office space to help maximize every dollar taxpayers send to Washington. We are proud to support this legislation and hope every lawmaker will support its enactment,” said Pete Sepp, President of National Taxpayers Union Foundation.

Original co-sponsors: Rep. Rick Allen (GA-12), Rep. Jim Banks (IN-03), Rep. Dan Bishop (NC-09), Rep. Ted Budd (NC-13), Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Rep. Greg Gianforte (MT-At Large), Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Rep. Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Rep. Kevin Hern (OK-01), Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04), Rep. Fred Keller (PA-12), Rep. Alex Mooney (WV-02), Rep. Denver Riggleman (VA-05), Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-01), Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21), Rep. Greg Steube (FL-17), Rep. William Timmons (SC-04), Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03), Rep. Mark Walker (NC-06), Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02), Rep. Ron Wright (TX-06).

Supporting organizations: Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Heritage Action for America, National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Freedom Works, Club for Growth.