The General Services Administration will have some new Republican leaders in the House to report to as it proposes major changes in Washington, including the possible relocation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the redevelopment of 22 acres on Independence Avenue and the sale of the West Heating Plant.
The incoming chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), announced Wednesday that he would appoint fellow Pennsylvania Republican Lou Barletta to head the subcommittee overseeing public buildings and economic development.
When he is confirmed next week, Barletta will replace Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), who used his time at the subcommittee to aggressively push the GSA to reduce costs and use or sell vacant property. Denham will chair the subcommittee on railroads, pipelines and hazardous materials.
Denham and Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), who preceded Shuster, condemned the GSA after a conference scandal and pushed the agency to slim its leasing and construction costs. The cuts sometimes forced the agency to delay projects, such as consolidation of the Department of Homeland Security at St. Elizabeths hospital, even if it meant forfeiting long-term savings on real estate costs.
Barletta is former mayor of his hometown of Hazleton, Pa., and also founded a road-lining business with his wife in the 1980s. Now in his second term in Congress, he is also known as an opponent of illegal immigration.
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