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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     106-717

======================================================================



 
             GRIFFITH PROJECT PREPAYMENT AND CONVEYANCE ACT

                                _______
                                

 July 10, 2000.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 986]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(S. 986) to direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey the 
Griffith Project to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment 
and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of S. 986 is to direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to convey the Griffith Project to the Southern Nevada 
Water Authority.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    For the last six years, the Subcommittee on Water and Power 
of the Committee on Resources has pursued legislation to shrink 
the size and scope of the federal government through the 
defederalization of Bureau of Reclamation assets. S. 986 
continues this process by directing the Secretary of the 
Interior to convey the Robert B. Griffith Water Project water 
distribution facilities to the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
    The Griffith Project was authorized by Public Law 89-292 
(commonly known as the Southern Nevada Water Project Act). The 
bill provides for the Southern Nevada Water Authority to accept 
responsibility for administration, operation, and maintenance 
of the Griffith Project and to pay the net present value of the 
remaining repayment obligation.
    S. 986 directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey and 
assign to the Authority all right, title and interest of the 
United States in and to the Griffith Project. The Griffith 
Project forms an integral part of a much larger water delivery 
system built separately by the Southern Nevada Water Authority 
and its constituent agencies. The Project consists of the 
intake facilities, pumping plants, and other items required to 
provide water from Lake Meade for distribution.
    The House companion bill for S. 986 is H.R. 1696, authored 
by Congressman Jim Gibbons (R-NV). On October 7, 1999, the 
Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing on H.R. 1696.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    S. 986 was introduced on May 6, 1999, by Senator Harry Reid 
(D-NV). On November 19, 1999, the Senate passed the bill by 
unanimous consent with an amendment. In the House of 
Representatives, the bill was referred to the Committee on 
Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Water and Power. On June 15, 2000, the Subcommittee met to 
consider the bill. It was ordered favorably reported to the 
Full Committee without amendment by voice vote. On June 21, 
2000, the Full Resources Committee met to consider the bill. No 
amendments were offered and the bill was ordered favorably 
reported by unanimous consent to the House of Representatives.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 and Article IV, section 3 of the 
Constitution of the United States grant Congress the authority 
to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in tax 
expenditures. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 
enactment of this bill would produce a net increase of $103 
million in receipts to the federal government in 2001, but this 
near-term cash savings would be offset by a loss of other 
offsetting receipts over the 2002-2033 time period.
    3. Government Reform Oversight Findings. Under clause 
3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee has received no report of 
oversight findings and recommendations from the Committee on 
Government Reform on this bill.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 23, 2000.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 986, the Griffith 
Project Prepayment and Conveyance Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Megan 
Carroll (for federal costs) and Marjorie Miller (for the state 
and local impact).
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

S. 986--Griffith Project Prepayment and Conveyance Act

    Summary: S. 986 would direct the Secretary of the Interior, 
acting through the Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) to convey the 
Robert B. Griffith Water Project (Griffith Project) to the 
Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA). The transfer would 
occur after the SNWA pays about $112 million to the Bureau to 
meet its outstanding obligations under an existing repayment 
contract with the federal government. A substantial portion of 
the Griffith Project is located on federal lands administered 
by the National Park Service (NPS) and the Bureau of Land 
Management. Under S. 986, the SNWA would retain rights-of-way 
across this federal land at no cost.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 986 would yield a net 
increase in asset sale receipts of $103 million in 2001, but 
that this near-term cash savings would be offset by the loss of 
other offsetting receipts over the 2002-2033 period. Because 
the legislation would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would apply. CBO also estimates that implementing S. 
986 could cost up to $50,000 a year in appropriated funds over 
the 2002-2005 period.
    S. 986 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). 
The project conveyance, and any costs associated with it, would 
be voluntary on the part of the SNWA. The legislation would 
impose no costs on any other state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 986 is shown in the following table. The 
costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                                    --------------------------------------------
                                                                       2001     2002     2003     2004     2005
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING \1\

Estimated budget authority.........................................     -103        9        9        9        9
Estimated outlays..................................................     -103        9        9        9        9
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ S. 986 also would authorize additional spending, subject to appropriation, of up to $50,000 a year over the
  2002-2005 period.

            Basis of estimate
    For this estimate, we assume that S. 986 will be enacted by 
the end of fiscal year 2000. Based on information from the SNWA 
and the Bureau, CBO expects that the authority will make the 
prepayment during fiscal year 2001, and that the formal project 
conveyance will be completed during fiscal year 2002.
    Direct Spending.--S. 986 would direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to sell the Griffith Project to the SNWA, in exchange 
for a one-time payment of about $121 million. The legislation 
would allow the sales price to be adjusted for any payments 
after September 15, 1999, and before the project transfer is 
completed. According to the Bureau, the SNWA has made a payment 
of about $9 million during fiscal year 2000. Thus, CBO expects 
a payment of about $112 million to occur during fiscal year 
2001 and estimates that those receipts would be offset by the 
loss of currently scheduled repayments of about $9 million a 
year between 2001 and 2022 and $6 million a year between 2023 
and 2033.
    Spending Subject to Appropriation.--Presently, the SNWA 
bears the full cost of operating and maintaining the Griffith 
Project. In addition, pursuant to an agreement with the Bureau, 
the SNWA would absorb all administrative costs associated with 
the conveyance. Thus, implementing this provision would not 
affect discretionary spending. The NPS currently collects about 
$50,000 a year from the SNWA to offset the costs of 
administering and monitoring rights-of-way within the Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area. Under S. 986, the SNWA would maintain 
rights-of-way across these federal lands at no cost after the 
conveyance is completed. CBO estimates that implementing this 
provision would require a net increase in amounts appropriated 
to the NPS of about $50,000 annually to continue administrative 
activities related to monitoring these rights-of-way.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: The Balanced Budget and 
Emergency Deficit Control Act sets up pay-as-you-go procedures 
for legislation affecting direct spending or receipts. The net 
changes in outlays that are subject to pay-as-you-go procedures 
are shown in the following table. For the purposes of enforcing 
pay-as-you-go procedures, only the effects in the current year, 
the budget year, and the succeeding four years are counted.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars
                                  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    2000    2001    2002   2003   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Changes in outlays...............      0     -103      9      9      9      9      9      9      9      9      9
Changes in receipts..............                                  Not applicable
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under the Balanced Budget Act, proceeds from nonroutine 
asset sales (sales that are not authorized under current law) 
may be counted for pay-as-you-go purposes only if the sale 
would entail no financial cost to the government. Based on 
information provided by the bureau, CBO estimates that the sale 
of the Griffith Project as specified in S. 986 would not result 
in such a financial cost to the government, and therefore, the 
proceeds would count for pay-as-you-go purposes.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
S. 986 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA. In order to receive title to the Griffith project, the 
legislation would require the SNWA to assume all costs 
associated with the project and to prepay their outstanding 
liability to the federal government. The conveyance would be 
voluntary on the part of the authority, however, and these 
costs would be accepted by it on that basis. Further, the 
authority is already responsible for all costs of operating and 
maintaining the facility. The legislation would impose no costs 
on any other state, local, or tribal governments.
    Estimated impact on the private-sector: This legislation 
contains no new private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Previous CBO estimate: On October 18, 1999, CBO transmitted 
a cost estimate for S. 986 as ordered reported by the Senate 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on October 6, 1999. 
The SNWA has made a repayment to the federal government of 
about $9 million since that time. Because the legislation 
provides that the sale price may be adjusted for such 
repayments, we have revised our estimate of the net prepayment 
of the authority's outstanding obligations that would occur 
under this legislation. Other differences between the two 
estimates reflect changes in our assumption regarding when the 
legislation would be enacted and when the prepayment and 
project conveyance would occur.
    Estimated prepared by: Federal cost: Megan Carroll; impact 
on State, local, and tribal governments: Marjorie Miller; 
impact on the private sector: Sarah Sitarek.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    compliance with public law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                preemption of state, local or tribal law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        changes in existing law

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.