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114th Congress    }                                   {    Rept. 114-75
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                   {          Part 1

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



 
                 GOOD SAMARITAN SEARCH AND RECOVERY ACT

                                _______
                                

 April 15, 2015.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Bishop of Utah, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 373]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 373) to direct the Secretary of the Interior and 
Secretary of Agriculture to expedite access to certain Federal 
land under the administrative jurisdiction of each Secretary 
for good Samaritan search-and-recovery missions, 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. 373 is to direct the Secretary of the 
Interior and Secretary of Agriculture to expedite access to 
certain Federal land under the administrative jurisdiction of 
each Secretary for good Samaritan search-and-recovery missions, 
and for other purposes.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    This legislation comes following the discovery of the 
bodies of Keith Goldberg and Air Force Staff Sergeant Antonio 
Tucker in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area (administered 
by the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior) 
by good Samaritan search and recovery teams. In both cases, 
these volunteer groups had to wait an unacceptable amount of 
time to navigate the federal bureaucracy before they could 
conduct their searches.
    On January 31, 2012, Las Vegas taxi driver Keith Goldberg 
went missing. Investigators believed that he was killed and the 
body disposed of in the desert in the vicinity of the Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area. Local law enforcement officers 
suspended their search in April after arrests were made. Mr. 
Goldberg's family still wanted answers--they wanted his body to 
be found to provide closure to their horrific ordeal. The 
Goldberg family turned to Red Rock Search and Rescue, a 
nonprofit search and rescue team that helps families like the 
Goldbergs when loved ones go missing. Red Rock is a trained 
group of volunteers with extensive experience, willing to do a 
public service at no cost to the federal taxpayer. As they 
prepared to start their search in the Lake Mead National 
Recreation Area, they ran into a number of bureaucratic road 
blocks, including the requirements to obtain a special use 
permit and liability insurance.
    Some 15 months after Keith Goldberg disappeared, Red Rock 
was able to obtain an insurance policy and the requisite 
permits that would allow them to start their search. In less 
than two hours, they found Mr. Goldberg's body.
    On June 23, 2012, Air Force Staff Sergeant Antonio Tucker 
was presumed drowned in Lake Mead. As the National Park Service 
searched for the body, it was contacted by Steve Schafer, owner 
of a company specializing in underwater survey and recovery 
work. He offered to help. He was told by the National Park 
Service that it had all the help that was needed. Ten months 
later, after hiring an attorney, filing a request for public 
documents, and applying for a special use permit, he was 
finally cleared to search the lake. He found Mr. Tucker's body.
    H.R. 373 has been introduced to expedite access to public 
lands for good Samaritan search and recovery organizations so 
that they may conduct searches for missing persons and help 
bring closure to the families of missing persons.
    Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV) introduced this bill in the 
113th Congress as H.R. 2166. Congressman Heck testified on H.R. 
2166 before the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental 
Regulation on May 7, 2013. On January 23, 2014, the Committee 
on Natural Resources favorably reported the bill (House Report 
113-331), and on January 27, 2014, it passed the House by a 
recorded vote of 394-0.
    H.R. 373 requires that permits for accessing public lands 
be issued to groups within 48 hours of application and that 
groups do not have to obtain an insurance policy if they waive 
federal government liability. The bill also instructs the 
Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture to 
develop search and recovery focused partnerships to better 
coordinate and expedite search and recovery on federal lands.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 373 was introduced on January 14, 2015, by Congressman 
Joe Heck (R-NV). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Federal Lands. The bill was also referred to the Committee 
on Agriculture. On March 24, 2015, the Natural Resources 
Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Federal 
Lands was discharged by unanimous consent. No amendments were 
offered and the bill was ordered favorably reported to the 
House of Representatives by unanimous consent on March 25, 
2015.

            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. 373--Good Samaritan Search and Recovery Act

    H.R. 373 would require the Secretary of the Interior and 
the Secretary of Agriculture to expedite access to federal 
lands for search and recovery missions conducted by certain 
individuals or organizations. Under the bill, entities 
conducting search and recovery missions would not be considered 
federal employees or volunteers, and the federal government 
would not be liable for the actions of such entities.
    Based on information provided by the Department of the 
Interior and the Forest Service, CBO expects that the costs of 
expediting access to federal lands for search and recovery 
purposes would be minimal, and we estimate that implementing 
the legislation would have no significant effect on the federal 
budget. Enacting H.R. 373 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 373 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, 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. According to the 
Congressional Budget Office, implementation of this bill would 
``have no significant effect on the federal budget.''
    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 direct the Secretary of the 
Interior and Secretary of Agriculture to expedite access to 
certain Federal land under the administrative jurisdiction of 
each Secretary for good Samaritan search-and-recovery missions, 
and for other purposes.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    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 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.




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