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                                                       Calendar No. 539
113th Congress                                                   Report
 2d Session                                                     113-271


                   TO REPEAL THE ACT OF MAY 31, 1918


               November 13, 2014.--Ordered to be printed


           Mr. Tester, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2041]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 2041) to repeal the Act of May 31, 1918, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do 


    This legislation, S. 2041 would repeal the Act of May 31, 
1918 (1918 Act), which reserved a tract of land within the Fort 
Hall Reservation in Idaho for townsite purposes, and provide 
the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation the 
right of first refusal for any future sales of land within the 


    The Fort Hall Reservation in southeastern Idaho was 
established for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes by Executive Order 
in 1867 and was affirmed the following year by the Fort Bridger 
Treaty. Originally, the Reservation consisted of 1.8 million 
acres, but due to subsequent legislative acts (including the 
Dawes Act), the reservation is now 544,000 acres. The Tribes 
have been successful in the reacquisition of land within the 
Reservation's boundaries; currently, 97% of the Reservation is 
owned by the Tribes or held in trust for the Tribes or 
individual tribal members.
    The May 31, 1918 Act (40 Stat. 592) authorizes the 
Secretary of the Interior to reserve for a townsite a tract of 
land within the Fort Hall Reservation. The 1918 Act further 
allows for patents to be issued for school, park, and other 
public purposes for the municipality in charge of caring for 
and maintaining the land as long as Indian children are 
permitted to attend the public schools established in that 
town. The 1918 Act further authorizes the Secretary to cause 
lots within the designated townsite to be appraised and 
disposed of, with the proceeds to be deposited into the 
Treasury for the benefit of the Fort Hall Indians.
    By repealing the 1918 Act, former tribal land within the 
Reservation's boundaries would once again be available to the 
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the Secretary would be prevented 
from setting aside additional land within the designated 
townsite area. In order to promote tribal restoration of 
homelands, this legislation would also provide the Tribes with 
a right of first refusal to purchase any tracts of land within 
the existing townsite offered for sale. This preserves current 
landowners' rights, as it does not interfere with their use or 
ownership of the land in any way.

                          Need for Legislation

    Legislation is required to repeal a past act of Congress 
and to provide the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes with a right of 
first refusal for any land sales within the townsite.

                          Legislative History

    The bill was introduced by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) on 
February 25, 2014, with Senator Risch as an original cosponsor. 
The bill was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs. On 
May 7, 2014, the Committee held a hearing on the bill. On June 
11, 2014, the Committee met at a business meeting to consider 
the bill. Senator Crapo offered one amendment and the amendment 
was adopted. The bill, as amended, was then ordered to be 
reported favorably to the Senate by voice vote.
    On July 9, 2014, Representative Michael Simpson (R-ID) 
introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives, 
H.R. 5050. The legislation is identical to S. 2041, as reported 
out by the Committee. The bill was referred to the House 
Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and 
Alaska Native Affairs. On July 29, 2014, the Subcommittee held 
a hearing on the bill. On September 18, 2014, the Subcommittee 
discharged the bill, and the bill was considered at a business 
meeting by the full Committee, where it was ordered to be 
reported favorably to the House by unanimous consent.

                        Summary of the Amendment

    Senator Crapo filed an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute at the June 11, 2014, business meeting. The 
amendment clarified that the land to be held in trust pursuant 
to S. 2041 is limited to those lands located within the Fort 
Hall townsite that are owned or acquired by the Tribes or 
individual tribal members.

        Section-by-Section Analysis of Bill as Ordered Reported

Section 1. Short title

    The Act may be cited as the ``May 31, 1918 Act Repeal 

Section 2. Definitions

    This section provides the definitions for terms within the 

Section 3. Repeal

    Makes effective the repeal of the May 31, 1918 Act.

Section 4. Right of first refusal

    Determines that the Tribes shall have the exclusive right 
of first refusal to purchase at fair market value any land set 
aside or apart under the 1918 Act and offered for sale. This 
section further provides that the United States shall hold in 
trust any land located within the Fort Hall townsite that is 
owned or acquired by the Tribes or a member of the Tribes 
before or after the enactment of this Act.

Section 5. Effect

    Clarifies that nothing within this Act affects any valid 
right to land that had been set aside or set apart under the 
1918 Act.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following cost estimate, as provided by the 
Congressional Budget Office on September 23, 2014, was prepared 
for S. 2041.

                                                September 23, 2014.
Hon. Jon Tester,
Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2041, the May 31, 
1918, Act Repeal Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Martin von 
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.

    Summary: S. 2041 would repeal the authority for the 
Department of the Interior (DOI) to reserve land for a town 
site within the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in Idaho for the 
benefit of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. The bill would give the 
tribes the right of first refusal to purchase the land that is 
currently reserved and would authorize DOI to take 
approximately 111 acres of land into trust for the benefit of 
the tribes.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: CBO estimates 
that implementing S. 2041 would have no significant effect on 
the federal budget. None of this land is federally owned and 
the cost to hold it in trust for the tribes would be minimal. 
Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
    Estimated impact on the private sector: This bill, S. 2041, 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    Estimate prepared by: Martin von Gnechten.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

               Regulatory and Paperwork Impact Statement

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires that each report accompanying a bill to 
evaluate the regulatory and paperwork impact that would be 
incurred in carrying out the bill. The Committee believes that 
S. 2041 will have a minimal impact on regulatory or paperwork 

                        Executive Communications

    The Committee has received no communications from the 
Executive Branch regarding S. 2041.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    If enacted, this bill would repeal 40 Stat. 592.