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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2790 - Public Buildings Amendments of 1987

December 10, 1987


(Howard (D) New Jersey and five others)

Although the administration supports many of the provisions of H.R. 2790 — such as various public buildings proposals made by the General Services Administration (GSA) — it opposes section 5 ("time financing"), which would authorize GSA to issue debt instruments with terms of up to 30 years for purchase by the Secretary of the Treasury for the construction and acquisition of Federal buildings. The President's senior advisers will recommend disapproval of H.R. 2790 if its time financing features are not eliminated.

The financing authorized by section 5, and the inevitable proliferation of federally-owned buildings that would follow, is highly objectionable for several reasons. For example, it:

— would seriously undermine essential budgetary controls, as GSA would be permitted to obligate and spend funds without reflecting their costs in the budget in the year when they occur;

— would not result in any savings, as claimed by proponents of the concept;

— would reduce administrative flexibility by locking the Government into Government-owned buildings;

— is contrary to the administration's privatization efforts; and

— would encourage wasteful "pork barrel" spending.

Accordingly, H.R. 2790 should not be considered under suspension of the rules and should instead be amended to delete section 5 in its entirety. In addition, the administration will work in the Senate to review and, where necessary, eliminate other potentially objectionable provisions of the legislation (e.g., limitations contained in section 3 on GSA's leasing authority).

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2790 - Public Buildings Amendments of 1987 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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