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107th Congress                                             Rept 107-752
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1

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



 
                      OUTFITTER POLICY ACT OF 2001

                                _______
                                

October 15, 2002.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2386]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 2386) to establish terms and conditions for use of 
certain Federal lands by outfitters and to facilitate public 
opportunities for the recreational use and enjoyment of such 
lands, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 2386 is to establish terms and 
conditions for use of certain Federal lands by outfitters and 
to facilitate public opportunities for the recreational use and 
enjoyment of such lands.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Outfitters and guides provide opportunities for outdoor 
recreation for many families and groups who would otherwise 
find the backcountry inaccessible. The primary purpose of the 
Outfitter Policy Act is to ensure accessibility to Federal 
lands by all segments of the population and to ensure quality 
recreation services for the public.
    Outfitters must comply with inconsistent policies across 
the federal land management agencies. Present inconsistent 
rules and polices often hinder outfitters from providing 
quality services, and these inconsistent rules inadequately 
provide for evaluation of guide/outfitter operations to assure 
quality services to the public. Congress has established 
standards for administering guides/outfitter permits on 
National Park Service lands. H.R. 2386 sets similar standards 
for the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Reclamation.
    This bill sets out the criteria for the grant of an 
outfitter permit. Criteria for grant of an outfitter permit 
include skill, experience, knowledge of the resource area, and 
financial capability. Safety, quality recreational experiences, 
educational opportunities, and conservation of resources are 
also considered.
    The Secretary may grant an outfitter permit if the 
outfitted activity is not inconsistent or incompatible with 
land and resource management plans for the area and meets the 
criteria established by this Act. The grant of an outfitter 
permit will be determined competitively if the authorization is 
a new opportunity, or if the permittee fails to adhere to the 
terms and conditions of the permit.
    The bill requires that an outfitter permit provide for the 
health and welfare of the public; conservation of resource 
values; a return to the United States through an authorization 
fee; the obligation of an authorized outfitter to defend and 
indemnify the United States; and an appropriate allocation of 
an amount of use (such use being subject to adjustment to 
reflect the changes in land and resource management plans); and 
other terms and conditions. This Act authorizes a term of 10 
years unless foreseeable changes in land and resource 
management plans or conditions necessitate a term of less than 
10 years, or unless the outfitter seeks or agrees to a permit 
term of less than 10 years. Permit terms and conditions may be 
adjusted by the granting agency during the term of the permit. 
A new authorized outfitter will be given a probationary status 
during the first two years of a permit. These permits do not 
create any property rights.
    The bill has been carefully drafted not to prescribe 
specific allocations or use levels for outfitters and guides. 
Decisions about appropriate levels of outfitted or guided use 
in a given unit or area remain within the purview of the 
agencies, using other statutory and regulatory principles. This 
bill does not alter or change those principles. Instead, it is 
directed at the matter of outfitter permit administration after 
the agency has decided that outfitted use is appropriate.
    To determine the authorization fee, the Secretary will 
consider the obligations of the outfitter, a fee amount that 
makes it possible to engage in a successful business venture, 
and the fair value of the use granted by the outfitter 
authorization.
    The fee may be modified to reflect changes to the terms and 
conditions of the outfitter permit; to account for 
extraordinary unanticipated changes affecting operating 
conditions (e.g., natural disasters or economic conditions); to 
reflect changes resulting from actions of other government 
entities (e.g., availability of State fish and game licenses); 
to deal with the imposition of fees assessed under other laws; 
or adjustments to an allocation of outfitter use.
    This bill makes the outfitter liable to the United States 
for all injury, loss, damage, and costs incurred by the United 
States arising from an outfitter's negligence, gross 
negligence, or willful and wanton disregard for persons or 
property associated with the outfitter's conduct of an 
outfitted activity under an outfitter authorization. An 
outfitter shall defend and indemnify the United States 
similarly for all injury, loss, damage, and costs the United 
States may incur as a result of judgments, claims, or losses 
arising from the outfitter's negligence, gross negligence, or 
willful and wanton disregard for persons or property associated 
with the outfitter's conduct of an outfitted activity under an 
outfitter authorization, except when the United States is 
solely responsible for such events. The liability and 
indemnification provisions in the bill do not limit any 
liability or indemnification obligation an authorized outfitter 
may have for environmental contamination, injury to natural 
resources, or any other cause of action that arises under other 
law.
    The act requires the Secretary to develop a process for 
annual evaluation of the performance of an authorized outfitter 
which defines three levels of performance: good, marginal, and 
unsatisfactory. An evaluation shall account for factors beyond 
the control of the outfitter and ensure that the effect of any 
performance deficiency reflected by the performance rating is 
proportionate to the severity of the deficiency. An outfitter 
shall receive written notice of any conduct or condition that, 
if not corrected, might lead to a marginal or unsatisfactory 
performance rating. Failure to correct any marginal or 
unsatisfactory conduct or condition will result in an 
unsatisfactory rating for that year.
    This bill also provides for a performance-based renewal. If 
an outfitter has more than one annual unsatisfactory rating, 
the outfitter cannot qualify for earned renewal. An outfitter 
permit may be suspended or revoked if the outfitter has failed 
to correct a condition considered by the Secretary to be 
significant, if the outfitter's permit fees are overdue, or if 
the outfitter has demonstrated willful disregard for the health 
and welfare of the public or the conservation of resources.
    Outfitter permits can be transferred only with the approval 
of the Secretary, and the Secretary will approve the transfer 
unless she determines that the transferee is not a qualified 
outfitter. The bill retains the current administrative appeals 
process at each agency and it confirms the right of an 
outfitter affected by a final decision to commence a civil 
action in United States district court.
    Outfitters operating under current permits will be granted 
a new permit under this bill if the outfitter's aggregate 
performance has been good or the equivalent of good, 
satisfactory, or acceptable under the current rating system.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 2386 was introduced on June 28, 2001, by Congressman 
James V. Hansen (R-UT). The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Resources and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture. 
Within the Committee on Resources, H.R. 2386 was referred to 
the Subcommittees on National Parks, Recreation and Public 
Lands; Forests and Forest Health; and Fisheries Conservation, 
Wildlife and Oceans. On July 25, 2002, the Subcommittees held a 
joint hearing on the bill. On September 12, 2002, the Full 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill and the 
Subcommittees were discharged from further consideration of 
H.R. 2386. The bill was then ordered favorably reported to the 
House of Representatives by voice vote.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    This Act may be cited as the ``Outfitter Policy Act.''

Section 2. Findings

    The Committee finds that many members of the public need or 
desire commercial outfitted activities on Federal land to 
facilitate the public use and enjoyment of Federal lands. The 
Committee recognizes that authorized outfitters need a stable 
regulatory climate in order to operate successfully, that the 
United State should receive a return through fees, and that a 
performance-based permit renewal system is a strong incentive 
to provide quality services to the public.
    The Committee does not intend that paragraph (3)(A)(ii) of 
section 2 require federal agencies to ensure that an outfitter 
granted a permit under this bill will have a successful 
business. Instead, the Committee intends to strongly encourage 
the agencies to be supportive of outfitting and guiding, as 
outfitters further agency missions of public service, and to be 
cognizant of agency actions that may create unintended burdens 
that would unduly affect an outfitter's ability to provide 
quality services to the public. The Committee also wants to 
assure that authorized outfitters operate reasonably and in 
accordance with permit terms and conditions. The Committee 
encourages sound business planning by outfitters and guides.

Section 3. Purposes

    This section establishes the terms and conditions for 
outfitting. It establishes a stable regulatory climate for 
outfitters, and it facilitates recreational opportunities on 
Federal lands for the outfitted public.

Section 4. Definitions

    This section defines the terms used in this bill. One term 
defined in this bill is ``commercial outfitted activity.'' Many 
non-profit entities conduct educational programs on Federal 
lands. These programs are very similar to those conducted by 
for-profit entities and in most circumstances are competing for 
the same resources and customers. It is the intent of this Act 
to place these non-profit, but clearly commercial, entities 
under the authority of this Act.
    Programs or activities directly related to academic 
activities, courses, or programs provided or offered by 
accredited educational institutions are intended to be exempt 
from the requirements for a section 6 permit. In cases, 
however, where educational entities are offering de facto 
commercial services not tied directly to courses for academic 
credit, a section 6 permit will be necessary. The Committee 
intends to accommodate genuine academic programs, but expects 
that when educational institutions effectively go into the 
outfitter business by offering quasi-commercial eco-tourism 
services, such institutions will be subject to the same 
requirements the bill imposes on commercial outfitted 
activities.

Section 5. Nonoutfitter use and enjoyment

    This Act is not intended to enlarge or diminish the rights 
or privileges of non-outfitted individuals or user groups to 
use or occupy Federal lands.

Section 6. Outfitter authorizations

    This section sets out the requirements for the grant of 
outfitter permits. One of the selection criterion for grant of 
a permit is the financial capability the permit applicant. The 
purpose of this criterion is to assure that prospective 
permittees have the financial resources and capabilities to 
provide quality services to the public. The Committee wants to 
encourage good business planning by permittees as a means of 
facilitating good services to the public. This criterion is not 
to be used by the agencies to encourage fee bidding or to stand 
for the proposition that financial capability means the ability 
to pay substantial fees to the federal government.
    The Committee expects that permit terms and conditions, as 
well as permit administration procedures, will not be unduly 
burdensome or onerous to such a degree that these primarily 
small businesses cannot succeed. The Committee wants to ensure 
that the agencies do not erect barriers that make it 
effectively impossible to engage in a successful business 
venture. There is no intention, however, to guarantee profits 
or to ensure success by permittees.
    The reference to ``approved resource management plans'' in 
section 6(d)(1)(A) is intended to encompass land resource 
plans, area resource plans, forest land and resource management 
plans, wilderness plans, wild and scenic river plans, and 
comprehensiveconservation plans, among others. All these plans 
apply to a specific geographic area, make programmatic decisions, and 
are developed using agency National Environmental Policy Act 
procedures.
    In addition to these broad scale plans, agencies routinely 
prepare more specific or subsidiary plans, including public use 
management plans, wilderness plans, and transportation plans. 
These types of specific plans that are adopted pursuant to 
public processes are to be encompassed within the reference to 
an approved land and resource management plan.
    The fact that land and resource management plans are 
pending should not automatically preclude issuance of permits 
for ten-year terms. In fact, permit administrators should 
generally issue permits for ten-year terms to reduce 
administrative overhead and to provide improved financial 
planning for permittees. Since the permits are subject to 
adjustment to make them consistent with agency land and 
resource management plans, the ten-year term should not 
preclude adjustments necessary to match land and resource 
management plans. If, however, a land and resource management 
plan is within a year of being approved and changes in the 
permit or amount of outfitted use are anticipated, a shorter 
term might be justified.
    Issuance of authorizations for a term of less than ten 
years should be limited. Such cases should be foreseeable and 
clearly warrant a reduced term. For example, a land and 
resource management plan has set a date to close an area to 
public access. If that date is less than ten years in the 
future, the term of outfitter authorizations for that area may 
be limited to that date, unless other locations are available 
for outfitting and guiding.

Section 7. Authorization fees

    In determining the amount of an authorization fee, the 
Secretary should consider the obligations of the outfitter 
under the permit, the provision of a reasonable opportunity to 
engage in a successful business venture, and the fair value of 
the use and occupancy granted by the outfitter authorization.
    When determining the fee, the Committee does not intend for 
the agencies to layer fees on an outfitter and its customers 
when agencies have the authority to charge a fee at multiple 
locations or for multiple activities. The Committee does not 
want the agencies to charge outfitters twice for the same 
service or facility, for example, by charging the outfitter's 
customers a facility use fee and counting that fee as revenue 
collected by the outfitter for purposes of calculation of the 
outfitter's permit fee. However, the Committee intends the 
agencies to charge outfitters for their use and occupancy of 
Federal lands, as well as for their customers' use of 
facilities that are made available to the public for a fee 
under other authorities. When determining fees pursuant to 
subsection (a)(2) of this section, agencies should take into 
consideration costs to the government in providing such 
facilities for outfitter use.
    The reasonable schedule required in section 6(c)(2)(C) may 
consist of a payment prior to issuance of an outfitter 
authorization or commencement of annual operations and at a 
minimum should consider business cash flow, seasonality of the 
use, and cost to the federal government to process bills.

Section 8. Liability and indemnification

    This section establishes the principles governing liability 
and indemnification. It also provides for the outfitted public 
to acknowledge the risks associated with outfitted activities, 
and, subject to certain conditions, to waive negligence claims 
arising out of outfitted activities.

Section 9. Allocation of use

    Terms and conditions of an outfitter permit shall provide 
for a principal allocation of outfitter use. Upon renewal, 
transfer, or extension of an outfitter permit, the same 
principal allocation of use shall be included unless an 
adjustment is required in accordance with this bill.
    The bill does not lock in existing use allocations to 
outfitters. The bill specifically authorizes the agencies to 
make changes in allocation levels, and to amend allocations 
during the term of a permit, when necessary to comply with 
changes in material facts and conditions or changes in land and 
resource management plans. Extended periods of underutilization 
of allocated use, when compared to similar utilization rates of 
other permittees providing the same or similar service in the 
area, without extenuating circumstances such as drought, fire, 
economic recession, and acts of God, may, for example, qualify 
as a material fact. This ability to amend use allocations 
applies to permits after renewal or following an approved 
transfer. Since the provision of quality services and 
investments needed for those services require some 
understanding of the capacity available to the permittee, where 
allocations are provided they should be as stable as possible, 
notwithstanding the authority to make changes in allocations 
cited above. This provision is not a justification to change 
allocations for superfluous reasons.

Section 10. Evaluation of performance

    The Secretary shall develop a process for annual evaluation 
of performance of an authorized outfitter which defines three 
levels of performance: good, marginal, and unsatisfactory. An 
evaluation shall appropriately account for factors beyond the 
control of the outfitter and ensure that the effect of any 
performance deficiency reflected by the performance rating is 
proportionate to the severity of the deficiency.
    A performance evaluation system shall assure the public of 
continued availability of dependable commercial outfitted 
activities, and shall provide for suspension or revocation of 
the authorization of an outfitter who fails to meet the 
required standards.

Section 11. Renewal, revocation, or suspension of outfitter permits

    Section 11 provides for a performance-based renewal. An 
outfitter with more than one annual unsatisfactory rating does 
not earn a right of renewal. An outfitter permit may be revoked 
if the outfitter has failed to correct a condition considered 
by the Secretary to be significant, if the outfitter's permit 
fees are overdue, or if the outfitter has demonstratedwillful 
disregard for the health and welfare of the public or the conservation 
of resources. Alternatively, all or part of an outfitter permit may be 
suspended if such infractions occur, and under this circumstance, an 
expedited administrative review shall be provided at the request of the 
outfitter.

Section 12. Transferability of outfitter permits

    An outfitter permit shall not be transferred without prior 
written approval by the Secretary. A transfer to a purchaser, 
heir, or assignee of an interest in the outfitter's operation 
shall be approved unless the Secretary determines that the 
transferee is not qualified to meet the terms and conditions of 
the outfitter permit. If the Secretary doesn't approve or 
disapprove a transfer after receipt of a complete application, 
the transfer shall be considered to be approved, unless the 
transferee requests a modification of terms and conditions 
requiring environmental analysis.

Section 13. Recordkeeping requirements

    The authorized outfitter shall keep reasonable records 
under a simplified procedure, as required by the Secretary. The 
Secretary, for purposes of audit and performance evaluation, 
shall have access to and the right to examine these records for 
five years following the effective date of an outfitter 
authorization.

Section 14. Appeals and judicial review

    This section ensures that an agency provide some form of an 
administrative appeal process. For example, the Forest Service 
presently has an established appeal procedure largely 
consistent with this section. The section also provides that an 
outfitter may seek judicial review of adverse agency action.

Section 15. Lack of effect on existing rights of the United States

    Nothing in this bill limits or restricts any right, title, 
or interest of the United States in or to any land or resource. 
It is not the Committee's intention for this bill to establish 
property rights. The permits authorized by this bill confer 
privileges to outfitters that do not give rise to compensable 
property rights. It is important, however, to note that 
outfitter permits impose mutual obligations on the respective 
parties. Outfitters are expected to adhere to the terms and 
conditions of any permit granted under this bill. Similarly, 
the Committee expects the federal agencies to fulfill the 
obligations they have under outfitter permits, as well as those 
established in this bill and comply with the letter as well as 
the spirit of the measure.

Section 16. Regulations

    Regulations shall be promulgated within two years of 
enactment of this bill.

Section 17. Relationship to other law

    Provisions of this bill will not supersede or otherwise 
affect the new National Park Service concession law passed by 
Congress in 1998, or preempt any outfitter or guide licensing 
law (including any regulation) of any State or territory.

Section 18. Transition provisions

    An outfitter authorized to conduct commercial outfitted 
activities on the date of promulgation of implementing 
regulations under the authority of this bill shall be entitled, 
on expiration of the existing authorization, to the issuance of 
an outfitter permit if the outfitter's aggregate performance 
has been good or the equivalent of good, satisfactory, or 
acceptable under the current rating system. If no recent 
performance evaluation exists, the outfitter's aggregate 
performance shall be deemed to be good.

            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 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does 
not authorize funding, and therefore clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not 
apply.
    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, October 2, 2002.
Hon. James V. Hansen,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2386, the 
Outfitter Policy Act of 2001.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact for this 
estimate is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2386--Outfitter Policy Act of 2001

    H.R. 2386 would establish a uniform policy for issuing 
permits to outfitters and similar businesses that offer certain 
recreational services on public lands. CBO estimates that 
implementing this bill would have no significant effect on the 
federal budget. H.R. 2386 contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act and would have no significant effect on the budgets 
of state, local, or tribal governments. Enacting the bill would 
have no significant effect on direct spending or revenues.
    The legislation would require outfitters to obtain permits 
to conduct commercial activities on lands under the 
jurisdictions of the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest 
Service, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of 
Reclamation. Generally outfitters are small businesses that 
provide recreational equipment and act as guides and escorts to 
visitors of federal recreational lands. The permits would 
usually cover 10 years and would be renewable for companies 
that receive satisfactory performance evaluations. The bill 
also would provide guidelines for setting fees to be charged to 
outfitters.
    Based on information provided by the four affected 
agencies, CBO estimates that the bill would have little if any 
effect on offsetting receipts from outfitter activities. All 
four agencies already charge fees to outfitters and have 
authority to spend at least some of the amounts they collect. 
The bill would not change the way that the agencies establish 
such fees or the way they are spent. Currently, offseting 
receipts collected from outfitters by the four agencies total 
around $5 million annually.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. 
The estimate was 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.

                        COMMITTEE CORRESPONDENCE

                          House of Representatives,
                                    Committee on Resources,
                                  Washington, DC, October 11, 2002.
Hon. Larry Combest,
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture,
Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: On September 12, 2002, the Committee on 
Resources ordered favorably reported H.R. 2386, the Outfitter 
Policy Act of 2001. This bill was referred primarily to the 
Committee on Resources and additionally to the Committee on 
Agriculture. Because of the short time remaining before 107th 
Congress adjourns, I ask you to not insist on exercising your 
referral of the bill and allow the Committee on Agriculture to 
be discharged from further consideration of H.R. 2386.
    I agree that your decision to forego further action on the 
bill will not prejudice the Committee on Agriculture with 
respect to its jurisdictional prerogatives on this or similar 
legislation, and will support your request for conferees on 
those provisions within the Committee on Agriculture's 
jurisdiction should they be the subject of a House-Senate 
conference. Copies of our correspondence will be made part of 
the committee bill report to memorialize our understanding.
    Thank you very much for your cooperation and that of your 
Chief Counsel, Lance Kotschwar.
            Sincerely,
                                           James V. Hansen,
                                                          Chairman.
                                ------                                

                          House of Representatives,
                                  Committee on Agriculture,
                                  Washington, DC, October 15, 2002.
Hon. James V. Hansen,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for forwarding a draft copy of 
H.R. 2386, the Outfitter Policy Act of 2001, as ordered 
reported by your Committee on September 12, 2002.
    Under clause 1(a) of Rule X, the Committee on Agriculture 
has jurisdiction over bills relating to forestry in general and 
forest reserves other than those created from the public 
domain. In exercising this jurisdiction. The Committee on 
Agriculture has worked cooperatively in the past with your 
Committee regarding general matters relating to forestry.
    Aware of your interest in expediting this legislation, and 
after conferring with Chairman Goodlatte of the Subcommittee on 
Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry, I 
will be glad to waive further consideration of this measure so 
as to allow its timely consideration by the entire House of 
Representatives during the remainder of the 107th Congress.
    This action is not intended to waive this Committee's 
jurisdiction over this matter for all purposes, and in the 
event a conference with the Senate is requested, I would 
appreciate your support in the naming of members from the 
Committee on Agriculture to the conference committee.
    Thank you once again for the extraordinary cooperation this 
Congress in which our respective Committees have worked 
together and I look forward to working with you in the future 
on matters of shared jurisdiction.
            Sincerely,
                                             Larry Combest,
                                                          Chairman.