CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 2121 is being considered on the floor under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage on Wednesday, September 9, 2009. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) on April 27, 2009. The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which took no official action.
H.R. 2121 would require the Administrator of General Services to transfer the Galveston Custom House at 502 20th Street, in Galveston, Texas, to the Galveston Historical Foundation for fair market value. Under the bill, the Galveston Historical Foundation would be responsible for any costs associated with the conveyance.
The U.S. Custom House in Galveston has served as the headquarters for the Galveston Historical Foundation since 1998. According to the Galveston Historical Foundation, the 1861 U.S. Custom House in down town Galveston is thought to be the first building designed in the city by an architect and was finished just before Texas seceded from the Union. The building played a significant role in the Civil War, and Union troops took the Custom House just three days before the war ended. The building has served as "as a post office and courthouse, and now serves as proud home to the Galveston Historical Foundation, the state's oldest historic preservation group," which restored the building when it became the group's headquarters. H.R. 2121 would authorize the Historical Foundation to buy the building from the GSA for fair market value.
According to CBO, H.R. 2121 would increase federal receipts by less than $500,000 from the proceeds from selling the property.