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109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-568

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



 
AMENDING THE RECLAMATION STATES EMERGENCY DROUGHT RELIEF ACT OF 1991 TO 
              EXTEND THE AUTHORITY FOR DROUGHT ASSISTANCE

                                _______
                                

 July 17, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Pombo, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2925]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 2925) to amend the Reclamation States Emergency Drought 
Relief Act of 1991 to extend the authority for drought 
assistance, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. EXTENSION OF THE RECLAMATION STATES EMERGENCY DROUGHT RELIEF 
                    ACT OF 1991.

  The Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991 (43 
U.S.C. 2210 et seq.) is amended--
          (1) in section 104(c), by striking ``September 30, 2005'' and 
        inserting ``September 30, 2010''; and
          (2) in section 301, by striking ``fiscal years 1992, 1993, 
        1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004'' and 
        inserting ``the period of fiscal years 2006 through 2010''.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 2925 is to amend the Reclamation States 
Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991 to extend the authority 
for drought assistance.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H.R. 2925 amends Title I of Public Law 102-250 to allow the 
Bureau of Reclamation to provide emergency assistance to 
western States in managing and allocating scarce water supplies 
during times of drought. Title I authority expired on September 
30, 2005. This bill extends the Title I expiration date until 
September 30, 2010, and will allow the Bureau of Reclamation to 
continue to assist States in addressing water supply crises 
when the Governor of a State or governing body of an Indian 
tribe requests temporary drought assistance.
    Title I of the underlying law provides the Bureau of 
Reclamation with emergency authority for construction, 
management, and conservation measures to alleviate the adverse 
impacts of drought. It authorizes the agency to make loans to 
water users for mitigating damages caused by drought. It allows 
the Bureau to facilitate water acquisitions between willing 
buyers and willing sellers, acquire water for use under 
temporary contracts, make facilities available for storage and 
conveyance of project and non-project water, and acquire water 
for fish and wildlife purposes.
    From fiscal years 2000 through 2005, an average of $4.2 
million per year was appropriated for activities under the act, 
with the majority of funding applied to Title I activities. 
Representative actions that have occurred under Title I include 
releasing of water for non-project purposes, helping 
municipalities drill new wells when their supply has dried up, 
assisting Indian tribes in obtaining alternate water supplies, 
and purchasing water for fish and wildlife purposes so that 
project water can still serve irrigators.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 2925 was introduced on June 15, 2005, by Congressman 
Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX). The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Water and Power. On September 27, 2005, the Subcommittee held a 
hearing on the bill. On June 21, 2006, the Full Resources 
Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Water 
and Power was discharged from further consideration of the bill 
by unanimous consent. Congressman George Radanovich (R-CA) 
offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute to extend 
the authorization of appropriations until fiscal year 2010. The 
amendment was adopted by unanimous consent. The bill, as 
amended, was then ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Extension of the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief 
        Act of 1991

    This section extends the authority under section 104(c) of 
the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991 
until September 30, 2010. As amended, this section also extends 
section 301, authorizations of appropriations, of the 
underlying Act, through fiscal year 2010.

            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, clause 3 of the Constitution of the 
United States grants 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 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to amend the Reclamation States 
Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991 to extend the authority 
for drought assistance.
    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:

H.R. 2925--A bill to amend the Reclamation States Emergency Drought 
        Relief Act of 1991 to extend the authority of drought 
        assistance

    Summary: The Bureau of Reclamation undertakes construction, 
water management, and water conservation activities to 
alleviate damages caused by drought in certain states. The 
authority to provide such assistance ended on September 30, 
2005. H.R. 2925 would extend that authority through September 
30, 2010. Under the bill, the authorization of appropriations 
for this program would be limited to a total of $90 million 
over the 2006-2010 period.
    Assuming appropriation of amounts necessary to provide the 
drought assistance authorized by H.R. 2925, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would cost $16 million over the 2007-2011 
period. Enacting H.R. 2925 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues.
    H.R. 2925 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA); 
the bill would benefit state, local, or tribal governments and 
any costs would be incurred voluntarily.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 2925 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--
                                                                    --------------------------------------------
                                                                       2007     2008     2009     2010     2011
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level......................................        4        4        4        4        0
Estimated Outlays..................................................        3        4        4        4        1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes H.R. 2925 
will be enacted near the end of fiscal year 2006 and that the 
necessary amounts will be appropriated for each year. Estimates 
of outlays are based on historical spending patterns for this 
activity.
    The Reclamation States Energy Drought Relief Act of 1991 
provided the Bureau of Reclamation the authority to mitigate 
damages caused by drought in certain states by undertaking 
construction, water management, and water conservation 
activities. Since that time, the Congress has provided almost 
$70 million for those activities--an average of more than $4 
million per year over the past 16 years.
    H.R. 2925 would extend the authority provided under the act 
until 2010 and would limit appropriations to a total of $90 
million over the 2006-2010 period. Because CBO cannot predict 
the timing or severity of droughts, CBO expects that the need 
to undertake drought relief over the next five years will 
continue at the same rate as the average need over the past 16 
years--about $4 million a year. Thus, CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 2925 would cost $16 million over the 2007-
2011 period.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 2925 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. The bill would benefit reclamation states and 
local and tribal governments within those states by extending 
the legislative authority that provides them drought aid. Any 
costs incurred by governmental entities would result from 
complying with conditions for receiving federal assistance.
    Previous CBO estimate: On December 1, 2005, CBO transmitted 
a cost estimate of S. 648, a bill to amend the Reclamation 
States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991 to extend the 
authority for drought assistance, as ordered reported by the 
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on November 
16, 2005. Both S. 648 and H.R. 2925 would authorize 
appropriations over the 2006-2010 period; however, CBO assumed 
that S. 648 would be enacted in fiscal year 2006 with 
appropriations beginning in that year. In addition, H.R. 2925 
would cap the program's authorization of appropriations at $90 
million over the 2006-2010 period.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Leigh Angres and Julie 
Middleton. Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Lisa 
Ramirez-Branum. Impact on the Private Sector: Craig Cammarata.
    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.