The U.S. House of Representatives is currently working on passage of H.R. 1734, The Civilian Property Realignment Act. According to TheHill.com, “The House on Monday night set up several votes on amendments to a bill that would set up a commission that would make recommendations on the sale of federal property in order to reduce the deficit.” Of interest to the informed voters across America that are witnessing the current President campaigning against the do-nothing Congress, along with numerous Liberal media mouthpieces claims that the Democrats are being shut out of the Republican-led House legislative process, is the fact that several Democratic amendments have already been allowed to be inserted into this bill. For example: (emphasis added)
Two other Democratic amendments were also accepted to the bill, H.R. 1734, by voice vote. One was from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), to add a sense of the Congress that the commission should provide assistance to small and minority-owned businesses.
The second, from Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), would require the General Services Administration (GSA) to evaluate the life-cycle costs of holding the building before constructing or leasing a new building.
Another amendment, from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), would allow the GSA to override the congressionally approved recommendations of the commission and allow property to be given at no cost to create park land. But Republicans indicated opposition to this amendment, and Connolly asked for a recorded vote, expected Tuesday.
While H.R. 1734 was originally drawn up to help decrease our federal deficits, it actually increases the taxpayer share of the federal debt, according to WashingtonWatch.com.
The CBO cost estimate of H.R. 1734 , which was done prior to the latest round of amendments in which we see Rep. Lee (D TX) demanding the usage of using this bill to “provide assistance to small and minority-owned businesses,” and Rep. Connolly (D-VA) demanding that the federal property be given at no cost to create park land.”
The federal firesale of property to reduce the deficit has evolved into a federal giveaway to certain sectors of society after the above mentioned Democrats were allowed to use it to buy votes and peddle influence from certain groups. The end result will be more deficits and taxpayer debt, regardless of the description of the original bill that claims it will reduce federal deficits. Also of note is the inclusion of requiring the amendment to mandate the GSA to evaluate the life-cycle costs of holding the building before building or leasing it. This proves that Congress has been buying/leasing/building projects without doing proper cost analysis to evaluate the total cost of the projects to the taxpayer in the past. That tidbit of information is a big part of why many voters are fed up with self-serving politicians who seem incapable of controlling government spending through responsible, all-inclusive budgeting and cost analysis.
Once again, a bill designed to reduce government deficits and debt has morphed into a big-government influence-peddling and vote-buying scheme that will actually add to the already burdensome taxpayer debt. This was all done under the guise of bipartisanship in the House, where we see exactly how the big-government Liberal Democrats have added amendments that turned this bill into adding more taxpayer debt, instead of reducing it by selling off excessive, expensive, and unneeded land and buildings that should never have been purchased with taxpayer dollars in the first place.
In summary, referring to the above-linked CBO cost estimate of H.R. 1734, we see the following budgetary gimmickry being used to cover the huge costs of implementing this bill: (emphasis added)
H.R. 1734 would establish the Civilian Property Realignment Commission (CPRC) to provide recommendations to better manage federal buildings and facilities. The bill would require the commission to recommend the sale of at least five specific civilian facilities that have a combined estimated fair market value of at least $500 million. The legislation also would authorize the appropriation of $20 million to fund the commission and $62 million to implement the commission’s recommendations. Recommendations of the commission, including sale of high-value property, could not be implemented unless approved in subsequent legislation.
Assuming appropriation of the specified amounts, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1734 would cost $3 million in 2012 and $68 million over the 2012-2017 period.
The new big government commission (CPRC) established by H.R.1734 will cost the taxpayer a total of $82 million dollars. Big government just got even bigger, thanks to H.R. 1734, and the wizards of Congress. And this was all done under the guise of being a bipartisan, deficit-reduction bill.