(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.)
109th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 109-621
TO PROVIDE FOR ACQUISITION OF SUBSURFACE MINERAL RIGHTS TO LAND OWNED
BY THE PASCUA YAQUI TRIBE AND LAND HELD IN TRUST FOR THE TRIBE, AND FOR
September 6, 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. 631]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill
(H.R. 631) to provide for acquisition of subsurface mineral
rights to land owned by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and land held in
trust for the Tribe, and for other purposes, 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. 631 is to provide for the acquisition
of subsurface mineral rights to land owned by the Pascua Yaqui
Tribe and land held in trust for the Tribe.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
H.R. 631 directs the Secretary of the Interior to acquire,
through the process of eminent domain and only with the consent
of the State of Arizona, the subsurface mineral estate beneath
the fee lands owned by the Pascua Yaqui Indian Tribe of
Arizona. The purpose for condemnation is to consolidate
ownership of the subsurface and surface estates to complete the
Tribe's fee-to-trust application, currently pending at the
Department of the Interior. Unlike the surface estate which can
be sold to private interests, condemnation is necessary for the
mineral estate as subsurface rights currently owned by the
State of Arizona are unable to be sold by the authority of the
State's constitution. The State of Arizona has given its
consent to the condemnation.
In 1910, the United States Congress enacted the Arizona-New
Mexico Enabling Act, allowing the State of Arizona admission
into the United States. That act provided the State of Arizona
with thousands of acres of land commonly referred to as ``state
trust land.'' These lands were intended to produce revenue for
various public institutions such as schools and libraries. In
addition to the surface land, the State of Arizona also owned
the subsurface mineral rights which were governed by the same
guidelines as its surface counterpart.
Several years ago, the Pascua Yaqui Indian tribe of Arizona
purchased four parcels of land, totaling approximately 436.18
acres, from the State of Arizona at fair market value. These
parcels are adjacent to the Pascua Yaqui tribe's reservation
near Tucson, Arizona. The Tribe subsequently applied to the
Department of Interior to take this new acreage into trust. The
Department objected to the Tribe's application because the
State of Arizona still owned the subsurface mineral estate
beneath the Tribe's newly acquired parcels. In order for the
Tribe to acquire the relevant mineral estate, the United States
government is required to obtain the subsurface estate as the
State cannot sell its own lands under State law. Once the
subsurface estate is owned by the Tribe, the Interior
Department may move forward with the Tribe's fee-to-trust
application for the relevant surface lands. The acquisition in
this legislation is by the consent of the State of Arizona and
will be paid for at fair market value by the Pascua Yaqui
H.R. 631 was introduced on February 8, 2005, by Congressman
Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ). The bill was referred to the Committee
on Resources. On July 19, 2006, the Full Resources Committee
met to consider the bill. No amendments were offered and the
bill was ordered favorably reported to the House of
Representatives by unanimous consent.
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, and Article IV, section 3,
clause 2 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, credit
authority, or an increase or decrease in revenues or tax
expenditures. The Congressional Budget Office has concluded
that enactment of this bill would have ``no significant
effect'' on direct spending.
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
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
H.R. 631--A bill to provide for acquisition of subsurface mineral
rights to land owned by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and land held in
trust for the tribe, and for other purposes
H.R. 631 would direct the Department of the Interior (DOI)
to acquire all subsurface rights and interests to certain lands
in Arizona by eminent domain. Once acquired, these interests
would be put into trust for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. The tribe,
which already owns the related surface estate, would reimburse
the department for any transaction and appraisal costs.
Based on information provided by DOI, and assuming the
availability of appropriated funds, CBO estimates that
acquiring the affected property rights for the Pascua Yaqui
Tribe would cost less than $500,000 over the next year. We
expect that reimbursement by the tribe for associated
transaction costs would sum to a few thousand dollars;
therefore, we estimate that enacting this legislation would
have no significant effect on direct spending. Enacting H.R.
631 would not affect revenues.
H.R. 631 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
The acquisitions authorized by the bill would be voluntary on
the part of the tribe and the state of Arizona; any costs they
would incur as a result of these acquisitions would be incurred
On July 21, 2006, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S.
1291, the Pascua Yaqui Mineral Rights Act of 2005, as ordered
reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on June 29,
2005. The two bills are similar, and our cost estimates are the
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Daniel Hoople.
This 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
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing