John Mica (R-Florida) Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is my kind of Congress member.
The Chairman understands that the heart of his job is to insure that the Business of Government is carried out –
- Continuously managing existing government mandates through the appropriation processes.
- Minimizing recurring costs.
- Insuring that tax payers get maximum value for every dollar spent!
- Offering new legislation only as a last resort or
- When new conditions arise.
Chairman Mica and his committee continue to prod the GSA (General Services Administration) into better performance in managing the the government’s inventory of owned or leased real estate.
- It is generally acknowledged that GSA has an inventory of government buildings and suites around the country that includes about 14,000 excess or underutilized properties.
- If leased and unoccupied or under occupied, that’s an unwarranted cost to the tax payer or
- If owned, a non-performing taxpayer asset.
Just in the summer of 2012, the Committee has held hearings to guide, poke and prod GSA into consolidating more federal employees into less space resulting in $180M of lease savings –
- With more than 13,000 buildings to go – this could, eventually, add up to real money – even in a $3T federal budget
What’s more important is that each of these modified leases results in reducing the year over year baseline cost of operating the government.
- Reductions in the baseline cost of government cut the deficit!
Politico reports that Chairman Mica is not beyond using "press opportunities” to force GSA into action over buildings that have been idle for years.
He schedules hearings – and, amazingly, before the hearing date arrives, the GSA has sprung into action –
- The historic Old Post Office in Washington, D.C. sat idle for years – until Chairman Mica scheduled a spring time hearing —
- Now, GSA and Donald Trump’s real estate company are planning to renovate the interior as a hotel and shopping center that will yield income to the government.
- An August hearing regarding the historic Dyer Federal Court House in Miami – vacant for over four years – prompted GSA to send out a Request for Information to local developers.
Today, its enough to salute the Chairman for his commitment to Better Government and his sense of humor —
On Election Day, Representative Mica offers a candidate profile to look for and to vote for—