About a year ago, House Republicans held a hearing on wasteful use of federal government buildings, using the location backdrop of the vacant Old Post Office annex to dramatize the issue. Soon after, the General Services Administration got its act together and invited bids for the costly building, drawing a flurry of proposals—-with respondents including Donald Trump and Daniel Libeskind—-when the deadline passed in July. They were supposed to have chosen by November, but then postponed it to the next year.
Why the delay? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that the person in charge of the process passed away in January. But no matter. The delay just gives Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Managemen chairman Jeff Denham another punching bag for his general indignation over inefficient use of public buildings, and a chance to push a bill meant to solve the problem. “One year later, this building is still vacant and still costing taxpayers $6 million,” says spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger. “It is a perfect example of why we need to pass Chairman Denham’s Civilian Property Realignment Act into law immediately, to eliminate this type of waste from government.”
Obligatory GSA statement: “At this time, GSA is still reviewing the proposals to determine the submission that will make the best use of the Old Post Office location. We expect to make an award in early 2012.”
The hearing takes place next Thursday, Feb. 9, at 10:00 a.m.