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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MURPHY of Florida. Mr. Chair, I rise today to offer an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would address wasteful government spending on unused and underutilized facilities. The Department of Defense has hundreds, possibly thousands, of buildings and structures that it has rated at zero percent utilization. This is an incredible number of useless facilities that taxpayers are paying to maintain.

The extent of this wasteful spending, however, is not currently known, even by the Department itself. My amendment would fix that, requiring the Department of Defense to disclose just how many of its facilities are unused or underutilized and how much it is costing American taxpayers to maintain these facilities. The Department of Defense would be required to report back to Congress in six months, explaining what they are doing either to dispose of these wasteful facilities or increase their utilization.

By forcing the Department of Defense to take a serious look at its facilities, gather data on how these facilities are managed, and develop a coherent plan for reducing costs and improving efficiency, my amendment seeks to eliminate this wasteful government spending.

Unfortunately, the Department of Defense is not the only federal agency that is currently wasting taxpayer money on maintaining unused or underutilized facilities. As a whole, the federal government must do a better job at managing its facilities. At times of record debt, taxpayers should not continue paying for unused and underused buildings. That is not good government, and that is not smart spending.

That is why I recently introduced the SAVE Act to root out up to $200 billion in wasteful and duplicative government spending over the next 10 years. This amendment is an extension of one of the 11 common-sense solutions included in the bipartisan SAVE Act, holding the Department of Defense accountable for spending taxpayer money on facilities the Department itself has found to be unused or underutilized.

We all agree that we need to reduce government spending. We should also all agree that the best place to start is by rooting out waste. This is a common-sense solution to do just that and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this amendment.

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