TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUPS PRAISES McCAIN CALL TO PROBE PROPOSED PTO HEADQUARTERS | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUPS PRAISES McCAIN CALL TO PROBE PROPOSED PTO HEADQUARTERS

Press Release

For Immediate Release   Contact:  Jim Campi or Aaron Taylor
May 30, 2000(202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) today praised a letter from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), calling on the General Accounting Office (GAO) to review the process by which the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) decided to lease a new headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

The 20-year, $1.3 billion lease would be the largest in the history of the federal government.  In his letter, Sen. McCain questions the wisdom of PTO’s plan, considering that leasing may not be as cost-effective as purchasing a new building.  McCain also notes that rapid growth in the PTO workforce means that the building planned by PTO may not be large enough to meet its needs.

“The PTO’s headquarters lease plan has been a boondoggle from the start," said CAGW President Thomas Schatz.  “The agency has padded its budget with ridiculous items like $200 shower curtains to justify an astronomical price tag.  Even worse, after the government parts with a whopping $1.3 billion over 20 years, somebody else will own the building.  The one million members and supporters of Citizens Against Government Waste thank Sen. McCain for taking the lead in investigating this unconscionable waste of taxpayer dollars.”

“The National Taxpayers Union is pleased to join our colleagues at Citizens Against Government Waste in strong support of Sen. McCain's request for a full GAO investigation of the PTO ‘Palace Plan’ now, before the $1.3 billion project starts,” stated NTU Vice President for Government Affairs Al Cors.  “The planned PTO headquarters project is full of extravagant spending.  It's the most expensive federal real estate project ever, and it’s just a 20 year lease.  Sen. McCain is to be commended for taking this prudent and reasonable action.”

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.  NTU is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, less wasteful spending, and accountable government at all levels.

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