Palazzo Leads Bipartisan Ten-Year NASA Property Leasing Authority Bill
Washington, DC - Congressmen Steven Palazzo (MS-4) has introduced H.R. 4304, the "NASA Enhanced Use Lease Authority Act of 2019" to reauthorize the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) agreement authority for ten years. The program is set to expire on December 31, 2019.
"The EUL agreement authority is critically important for NASA and enables our nation's space agency to reduce operating costs, improve facility conditions, and improve mission effectiveness, all at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer," Palazzo said. "This legislation will benefit our space centers throughout the United States, including Stennis Space Center in Hancock County."
NASA centers use the EUL agreement authority to lease underutilized areas on their properties to private entities, state and local governments, as well as academic institutions. With the funds generated through EUL, NASA uses this money for facilities maintenance, capital revitalization and real property improvements.
The EUL agreement authority is uniquely valuable because of its flexibility. Centers can accept in-kind consideration in lieu of cash for lease payments. Palazzo's legislation requires NASA to provide Congress with an annual report that details the nature and value of in-kind consideration, as well as a description of internal controls that ensure the full value of in-kind consideration is being captured.
More than 80 percent of NASA facilities are 40 years or older, EUL provides crucial support to address the agency's aging infrastructure without additional appropriations.
In 2017, NASA generated $5.4 million with EUL after covering costs. Centers have used proceeds to fund an operations center renovation, roof replacement, elevator maintenance, parking lot repairs, and other important projects.
Palazzo and Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., introduced similar legislation in the 115th Congress that reauthorized the EUL program through December 2019. This bill was later signed into law by President Trump after passing through congress unopposed.
You can read the full text of the legislation here.
Other cosponsors of the legislation include Reps. Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Michael Guest (MS-3), Trent Kelly (MS-1), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Katie Hill (CA-25), Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-3), and Bill Foster(IL-11).