(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.)
Calendar No. 52
104th Congress Report
1st Session 104-29
TO REAUTHORIZE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE NAVAJO-HOPI RELOCATION HOUSING
April 6 (legislative day, April 5), 1995.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. McCain, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 349]
The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the
bill (S. 349) to reauthorize appropriations for the Navajo-Hopi
Relocation Housing Program, having considered the same, reports
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the
bill do pass.
The purpose of S. 349 is to amend the Navajo-Hopi Land
Dispute Settlement Act, P.L. 93-531 (25 U.S.C. 640d-24(a)(8)),
to extend the authorization for appropriations for the Navajo
Hopi Relocation Housing program through the end of fiscal year
1997. The current authorization expires at the end of the 1995
The Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute Settlement Act was enacted in
1974 in an effort to settle land disputes which had divided the
Navajo and Hopi tribes for more than a century. Among other
things, the 1974 Act required the partition of the disputed
lands and the relocation of the members of each tribe from the
lands partitioned to the other tribe. This has proven to be an
extremely difficult and contentious process. The original Act
was amended in 1980 and again in 1987 to try to resolve
problems which arose in its implementation.
Since the enactment of the Settlement Act, 4,432 Navajo and
Hopi families have applied for relocation benefits. Of those,
3,264 have been certified eligible and 1,168 have been denied
benefits. Of those who were denied benefits, 218 are engaged in
active appeals. As of the end of January, 1995, a total of
2,518 had been relocated and 746 eligible families were
awaiting their benefits. Of the families relocated, 2,434 are
Navajo and 23 are Hopi. Of the 746 families awaiting benefits,
742 are Navajo and 4 are Hopi.
Most of the families still awaiting benefits, long ago
complied with the law and voluntarily left their homes which
are located on lands partitioned to the other tribe. The pace
of the relocation housing program has been such that on average
fewer than 200 hundred eligible families are served in any
fiscal year. In addition to the eligible Navajo and Hopi
families awaiting relocation, there are estimated to be between
50 and 150 Navajo families residing on lands partitioned to the
Hopi tribe who have never applied for relocation benefits.
For the past three years the Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit has assigned a mediator to attempt to negotiate leases
with the Hopi tribe for these Navajo families. The mediation
effort is related to litigation pending before the court which
involves the issue of whether the relocation program violates
the religious freedom of the members of the Navajo Nation who
are subject to relocation under the Settlement Act.
The Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation filed a
report with the Congress on February 28, 1995 with its
recommendations for completion of the relocation program and
the phase out of the office. The report indicates that as many
as 1,000 additional families may be determined to be eligible
for relocation assistance after the completion of all appeals
and legal challenges. The office estimates that the total time
required to complete the relocation program and shut down the
office will be approximately 9 years. According to the report,
many factors contribute to the slow pace of the relocation
program including difficulty in finding on-reservation
homesites, the voluntary nature of the program, archaeological
clearances, livestock grazing issues, and problems related to
Under the completion and phase out plan recommended by the
office, annual funding would decline from the 1995 level of
$24,888 million to $21,771 million in 2003. The plan assumes
that about 100 families would be served in each year and that
some families would be provided a cash benefit instead of a
replacement home. Since 1975, the Congress has appropriated
about $356 million for the relocation program. Of that amount,
about $235 million has been expended on the relocation housing
S. 349 was introduced on February 2, 1995, by Senators
McCain and Kyl and was referred to the Committee on Indian
Affairs. A hearing was held on the bill by the Committee on
Indian Affairs on March 15, 1995.
Committee Recommendation and Tabulation of Vote
In an open business session on March 29, 1995, the
Committee on Indian Affairs ordered the bill reported without
amendment, with the recommendation that the Senate pass the
bill as reported.
Summary of the Bill
Section 1 of the bill amends section 25(a)(8) of Public Law
93-531 (25 U.S.C. 640d-24(a)(8)) by striking ``1989,'' and all
that follows through ``1995.'' and inserting ``1995, 1996, and
Cost and Budgetary Considerations
The cost estimate for S. 349, as calculated by the
Congressional Budget Office is set forth below:
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, April 5, 1995.
Hon. John McCain,
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. 349, a bill to
reauthorize appropriations for the Navajo-Hopi Relocation
Enactment of S. 349 would not affect direct spending or
receipts. Therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply
to the bill.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them.
June E. O'Neill.
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE
1. Bill number: S. 349.
2. Bill title: A bill reauthorize appropriations for the
Navajo-Hopi Relocation Housing Program.
3. Bill status: As ordered reported by the Senate Committee
on Indian Affairs on March 29, 1995.
4. Bill purpose: S. 349 would reauthorize appropriations
for the Office of Navajo-Hopi Indian Relocation for fiscal
years 1996 and 1997.
5. Estimated cost to the Federal Government: Assuming that
the Congress appropriates the full amounts authorized for 1996
and 1997 and that outlays follow historical patterns, enacting
S.349 would affect spending as shown below.
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Authority.... 25 -- -- -- -- --
Outlays...... 26 9 -- -- -- --
Level........ -- 30 30 -- -- --
Outlays...... -- 20 30 10 -- --
under S. 349:
Level \1\.... 25 30 30 -- -- --
Outlays...... 26 29 30 10 -- --
\1\ The 1995 level is the amount appropriated for that year.
The costs of this bill fall within budget function 800.
6. Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
7. Estimated cost to state and local governments: None.
8. Estimate comparison: None.
9. Previous CBO estimate: None.
10. Estimate prepared by: Rachel Robertson.
11. Estimate approved by: Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
Regulatory Impact Statement
Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the
Senate requires 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. 349 will
have minimal regulatory or paperwork impact.
The Executive Director of the Office of Navajo and Hopi
Indian Relocation appeared before the Committee at the hearing
on S. 349 on March 15, 1995. The Executive Director's prepared
statement on the bill follows:
Changes in Existing Law
In compliance with subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the
enactment of S. 349 will result in the following changes in 25
U.S.C. 640d-24(a) (8), with existing language which is to be
deleted in black brackets and the new language to be added in
``(8) For the purposes of carrying out the provisions
of section 640d-14 of this title, there is authorized
to be appropriated not to exceed $30,000,000 annually
for fiscal years [1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994,
and 1995.] 1995, 1996, and 1997.''
Office of Navajo and
Hopi Indian Relocation.
Statement before the Senate Select Committee on Indian
Affairs. In support of Reauthorization Legislation for the
Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation through Fiscal Year
Mr. Chairman: I am pleased to be here today appearing
before this Committee to testify in support of the
Reauthorization Legislation currently pending.
The legislation currently pending would reauthorize the
appropriation of funding for construction of relocation homes
for fiscal years 1996 and 1997. There are currently 750 heads
of household who have received from the ONHIR a letter of
eligibility for a federal benefit, (replacement housing, bonus,
moving expenses, etc.). The Office estimates that upon
resolution of pending court cases and administrative appeals
approximately 100 additional individuals will be determined to
be eligible for benefits. If funding for these benefits is not
provided for the Office, individuals determined to be eligible
for benefits might sue on a claim that they have been deprived
of an entitlement to relocation benefits. In addition, some of
these individuals relocated with the expectation that they
would be receiving benefits. In order to provide housing for
individuals that have been or are likely to be determined to be
eligible for benefits, the Office encourages passage of this
bill to, at a minimum, provide housing funding for the next two
I would also like to note that the Office has been involved
during the last three years in extensive re-evaluation and
assessment of our program.
In 1993, the Office began a process of critically examining
our organization and functions. Although the office was
specifically exempt from the Executive Order directing a
reduction in staffing, we determined that it was in the best
interests of good government and responsiveness to our clients
to identify areas where we could make savings through reducing
expenditures and staffing. Indeed, the Office had already begun
to reduce staffing through attrition and a self-imposed freeze
on hiring. The staffing of the agency had thus been reduced
from a high of 97 in 1992 to a total of 91 persons in 1994.
This represents a 6 percent staff reduction.
From a management perspective, we viewed the National
Performance Review initiatives as a positive opportunity to
continue to implement those policies and activities begun in
1993, specifically as concerns the intention to down-size. That
is precisely what we have done, and it has provided us a
specific, systematic means to accomplish an orderly reduction
in spending and staffing, while continuing to provide service
to our clients and conclude the relocation program.
As part of the reinvention process, the Office held several
one-day, all staff sessions, during the summer and fall of
1994, dealing with any matter which any staff member felt would
improve the operation of the agency. As a result of these
discussions, the Office developed a list of administrative
changes and improvements that fell into two categories; those
which could and have been implemented immediately, and those
which would require further development prior to
implementation. The Office has also, as a result of the
reinvention process, altered its organizational structure to
establish a plan for self-directed work teams in all of the
areas of office operation. This restructuring, when fully
implemented during the next two to three months, will result in
reduction of the number of individuals with supervisory
responsibility which will be in excess of the National
Performance Review goals set by the President.
Finally, we are currently in the process of conducting our
customer satisfaction survey, as required by the reinvention
process, and should have final results by mid-summer of this
In late September of 1994, the Office began preparation of
a relocation completion and agency phase-out plan requested by
the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. We utilized
many of the existing elements of our reinvention process in the
plan for relocation completion. New elements have been included
in the relocation plan as a result of the House Interior
Appropriations Subcommittee's request for a plan to finalize
the relocation process and transfer the function of the agency
to a successor entity. We have provided copies of this plan to
The Office believes this plan offers the best potential for
completion of relocation in the event that the mediation effort
ordered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit fails. The mediation effort seeks to achieve a
consensual resolution under which Navajos who wish to remain on
Hopi land could do so under a 75-year lease arrangement
providing an option to relocation. The plan for relocation
completion contains recommendations for; incentives which would
assist the Hopi Tribe in re-establishing its presence on the
HPL, incentives to encourage the remaining Navajos residing on
the HPL to voluntarily comply with relocation, and alternative
compensation strategies for non-HPL residents for whom an
actual physical relocation is not feasible.
Finally, the Plan briefly addresses the issue of
involuntary relocation of those individuals who do not make
timely arrangements to relocate. The existing Act mandates that
members of one tribe relocate from lands partitioned to the
Tribe of which they are not members, regardless of whether the
party wishes to move. Congress anticipated that some households
would not make timely application for benefits or choose to
relocate. Accordingly, the Act authorized the Office to take
that household's benefits and acquire or construct a
replacement home for such families off of the lands of the
other tribe. The Office is charged with constructing homes off
of the HPL for Navajos eligible for benefits who do not make a
housing selection. Absent clarification from either Congress or
the courts as to a deadline for voluntary relocation and a
timeframe for construction of housing for individuals who will
not voluntarily participate in the program, this agency cannot
forecast a plan or budget for completion of relocation.
I believe the plan, which also includes an update to the
historical background of relocation and its statistical
elements, presents a clear representation of the many issues
involved, illustrates how we reached our conclusions and
demonstrates an orderly means to reduce and eventually
eliminate the Office.
To the extent possible we have tried to quantify
information to demonstrate how conclusions were reached and
assure the minimum adverse impact to those persons being
relocated. In achieving down-sizing in advance of phase-out we
have carefully considered and suggested means to protect
I believe the information in the plan demonstrates a
commitment to the continuing aim of reducing the size of
government, but also assures that the government can retain
qualified employees to carry out the remainder of the
I thank the Subcommittee for its attention and we will be
pleased to respond to any questions you have for us.
Christopher J. Bavasi,