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November 2, 1999

H.R. 2513 - To direct the Administrator of General Services
to acquire a building located in Terre Haute, Indiana,
and for other purposes

(Pease (R) IN)

The Administration opposes House passage of H.R. 2513. The bill would:
  • Compel the General Services Administration (GSA) to accept into its inventory, and fully renovate, a building that has not been reasonably marketed for use by other entities. Further, GSA does not have the Federal tenancy in the Terre Haute community to sustain this building.

  • Lead to certain losses in GSA's budget, since the appropriations authorized are not guaranteed and would only cover renovation costs, while GSA would certainly suffer continuing shortfalls in rental income from the building. These losses are particularly likely in light of the bill's requirement that the United States Postal Service, in lieu of payment for the building, receive an option to occupy 8,000 square feet of renovated space rent-free for 20 years.

The Administration appreciates and shares the desire to preserve historical and architectural landmarks such as that currently housing the Terre Haute Post Office, but believes this preservation can and should be done in a financially prudent fashion. GSA believes the Post Office should remain in the Postal Service's inventory while all interested parties, including GSA, continue to survey the market for potential users.

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