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113th Congress Rept. 113-248
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session Part 1
ALASKA NATIVE TRIBAL HEALTH CONSORTIUM LAND TRANSFER ACT
October 22, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 623]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred
the bill (H.R. 623) to provide for the conveyance of certain
property located in Anchorage, Alaska, from the United States
to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, 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
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Land Transfer Act''.
SEC. 2. CONVEYANCE OF PROPERTY.
(a) Definitions.--In this section:
(1) ANTHC.--The term ``ANTHC'' means the Alaska Native Tribal
(2) Property.--The term ``property'' means the property
described in subsection (d).
(3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of
Health and Human Services.
(b) Conveyance.--As soon as practicable after the date of enactment
of this Act, but not later than 90 days after that date, the Secretary
shall convey to ANTHC all right, title, and interest of the United
States in and to the property for use in connection with health and
related programs. The Secretary's conveyance of title by warranty deed
under this section shall, on its effective date, supersede and render
of no future effect any quitclaim deed to the property described in
subsection (d) executed by the Secretary and ANTHC.
(c) Conditions.--The conveyance of the property under this Act--
(1) shall be made by warranty deed;
(2) shall not require any consideration from ANTHC for the
(3) shall not impose any obligation, term, or condition on
(4) shall not allow for any reversionary interest of the
United States in the property.
(d) Description of Property.--The property (including all
improvements thereon and appurtenances thereto) to be conveyed under
this Act is described as follows: Tract A-3A, Tudor Centre, according
to plat no. 2013-43, recorded on June 20, 2013 in Anchorage recording
(e) Environmental Liability.--
(1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of
Federal law, ANTHC shall not be liable for any soil, surface
water, groundwater, or other contamination resulting from the
disposal, release, or presence of any environmental
contamination, including any oil or petroleum product, any
hazardous substance, hazardous material, hazardous waste,
pollutant, toxic substance, solid waste, or any other
environmental contamination or hazard as defined in any Federal
or State law, on the property on or before the date on which
the property was conveyed by quitclaim deed.
(2) Easement.--The Secretary shall be accorded any easement
or access to the property as may be reasonably necessary to
satisfy any retained obligation or liability of the Secretary.
(3) Notice of hazardous substance activity and warranty.--In
carrying out this Act, the Secretary shall comply with
subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 120(h)(3) of the
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9620(h)(3)).
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The purpose of H.R. 623 is to provide for the conveyance of
certain property located in Anchorage, Alaska, from the United
States to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
H.R. 623 transfers by warranty deed and without
consideration a 2.79 acre parcel of federal land located in
Anchorage, Alaska, from the Indian Health Service (IHS) to the
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC or Consortium).
On May 16, 2013, the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native
Affairs held a hearing on H.R. 623. Following the hearing, the
IHS administratively conveyed the land to ANTHC by quitclaim
deed. It is nonetheless important to enact H.R. 623 because
transferring the land by warranty deed provides ANTHC with
cleaner title to the property than if it was transferred by
The subject land has been used for parking to accommodate
nearby facilities run by ANTHC and the IHS. The ANTHC plans to
use the land to construct a patient housing facility, which
would allow the consortium to greatly expand its capacity to
offer health services to patients who live outside Anchorage.
Established by an act of Congress, the ANTHC is a non-
profit corporation that is headquartered in Anchorage providing
tribal healthcare services to thousands of patients in the
south central Alaska region under contracts with the IHS. Many
of its critical inpatient services are unavailable to Natives
living in Alaska's bush areas (i.e., rural areas typically
unconnected to Alaska's highway system). Pursuant to contracts
with IHS, ANTHC operates the Alaska Native Medical Center,
which is the main tertiary health care provider in the state
for all Alaska Native people. When it was created, ANTHC
obtained certain federal land to meet its operational needs
while other parcels used by the Consortium remained under
The federal land transfer authorized under H.R. 623 would
allow the Consortium to adapt to the evolving needs of its
patient base. Many patients from rural areas must travel long
distances to reach the medical center and they are often unable
to house themselves during their stay in Anchorage. Expanding
patient housing on the lands transferred under the bill will
allow ANTHC to maximize care by locating patients near the
medical center's resources and reducing transportation costs.
The land conveyance will also bolster ANTHC's ability to
provide more regular and comprehensive treatment for
individuals who lack healthcare options in their home
As H.R. 623 was being developed, ANTHC coordinated with IHS
to transfer administrative control of the parcel and on June
20, 2013, the agency transferred the 2.79 acre parcel by
quitclaim deed. Transferring land by quitclaim deed, however,
does not guarantee clear title that a warranty deed provides;
according to ANTHC, relying on a quitclaim deed to complete the
land transfer could create certain obstacles to ANTHC's future
use of the property.
A similar bill, H.R. 443 (Young of Alaska), to transfer IHS
property by warranty deed to the Maniilaq Association, a Native
non-profit serving Native patients in Northwest Alaska, became
Public Law 112-263 on January 14, 2013.
During Full Committee markup of H.R. 623, the Committee
adopted an en bloc amendment offered by Indian and Alaska
Native Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Don Young (R-AK). The en
bloc amendment resolves several concerns the IHS raised in the
Subcommittee hearing on H.R. 623. Specifically, the amendment
gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services more time in
which to convey the 2.79 acre property by warranty deed (90
days as opposed to 30 days), it clarifies and corrects the
legal description of the property, and it clarifies that ANTHC
shall not be liable for any environmental contamination on or
before the date the property was administratively transferred
from the federal government by quitclaim deed (i.e., June 20,
H.R. 623 was introduced on February 12, 2013, by
Congressman Don Young (R-AK). The bill was referred to the
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs. In addition,
the bill was also referred to the Committee on Energy and
Commerce. On May 16, 2013, the Subcommittee held a hearing on
the bill. On July 31, 2013, the full Natural Resources
Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Indian
and Alaska Native Affairs was discharged by unanimous consent.
Congressman Young offered an en bloc amendment to the bill; the
amendment was adopted by unanimous consent. No further
amendments were offered, and the bill, as amended, was then
adopted and 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 Natural Resources' oversight findings and
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.
COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII
1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) 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)(2)(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. 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. 623--Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Land Transfer Act
H.R. 623 would authorize the Secretary of Health and Human
Services (HHS) to convey a specified 2.79 acre parcel of
federal land in Anchorage, Alaska, from the United States to
the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). The
conveyance of the property would be made by a warranty deed,
which is a type of deed that provides that the grantor (the
United States) has a good title free and clear of all liens and
encumbrances and that the grantor promises to defend the title
to the property against all persons claiming the property. The
ANTHC currently operates a 150-bed hospital on the property
known as the Alaska Native Medical Center.
The Indian Self-Determination and Education Act allows
Indian tribal entities to assume responsibility for the
provision of health care services funded by the Indian Health
Service (IHS), the agency within HHS responsible for providing
health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The ANTHC
operates the Alaska Native Medical Center under the authority
of that act. According to IHS, IHS already conveyed this
specified land to the ANTHC through a quitclaim deed, a type of
deed used to release one person's or entity's right, title, or
interest to another without providing a guarantee or warranty
of title. Though a warranty deed represents a more complete
conveyance of property than a quitclaim deed, no additional
cost is associated with a warranty deed compared to a quitclaim
deed. Therefore, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 623 would
have no significant impact on the federal budget and would not
affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go
procedures do not apply.
H.R. 623 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would benefit the ANTHC by changing the method of transferring
the property to the consortium. Any costs to the consortium
would be incurred voluntarily.
The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Robert Stewart
(for federal costs) and Lisa Ramirez-Branum (for
intergovernmental effects). The estimate was approved by Holly
Harvey, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
2. Section 308(a) of 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. CBO estimates that
enacting H.R. 623 would have no significant impact on the
federal budget and would not affect direct spending or
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
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 provide for the conveyance of
certain property located in Anchorage, Alaska, from the United
States to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks,
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of
the House of Representatives.
COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4
This bill contains no unfunded mandates.
COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5
Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any
specific rule-making proceedings.
Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was
not included in any report from the Government Accountability
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law
98-169) as relating to other programs.
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