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                                                       Calendar No. 20

115th Congress }                            		{ Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session   }                                        { 115-7

======================================================================
 
 TO AMENDING THE WHITE MOUNTAIN APACHE TRIBE WATER RIGHTS QUANTIFICATION 
 ACT OF 2010 TO CLARIFY THE USE OF AMOUNTS IN THE WMAT SETTLEMENT FUND

                                _______
                                

                 March 21, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

           Mr. Hoeven, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 140]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 140) to amend the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water 
Rights Quantification Act of 2010 to clarify the use of amounts 
in the WMAT Settlement Fund, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that 
the bill do pass.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of the bill is to clarify the authorized 
purposes of the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT or Tribe) 
Settlement Fund authorized in Title III of the Claims 
Resolution Act, Public Law 111-291 (the ``Act'').

                               Background

    Title III of the Act resolved the White Mountain Apache 
Tribe's water related claims against the United States, the 
State of Arizona, and certain state parties. In consideration 
for the Tribe waiving its water related claims against the 
federal government and state parties, the Act authorized 
funding for the construction of the White Mountain Apache Rural 
Water System (the ``Rural Water System''), which will bring 
desperately needed drinking water to the Tribe and its members. 
The Act also establishes the creation of the WMAT Settlement 
Fund that can be used, for among other things, ``water-related 
economic development projects''.
    In order to complete the Rural Water System, it may be 
necessary for the Tribe to use the existing authorization 
provided for in Section 312(b) for water-related economic 
development projects. Since the Rural Water System will serve a 
number of water-related economic activities from housing to 
hydropower, it falls within the authorized uses provided for in 
Section 312(b)(2)(C)(i)(III). Notwithstanding the flexibility 
in current law, the Department of the Interior has indicated, 
from its perspective, it is unclear whether the Settlement Fund 
can be used for the Rural Water System.

                        Need for the Legislation

    A technical amendment is necessary to clarify that 
authorization authority exists in Section 312(b) for the costs 
associated with completion of the WMAT Rural Water System--as 
long as it falls within the existing authorization level.
    If this issue is not resolved, the completion of the Rural 
Water System project will be threatened, thereby increasing the 
ultimate cost to the United States and delaying delivery of 
desperately needed drinking water to the White Mountain Apache 
Tribe and its members.

                          Legislative History

    The measure, S. 140, was introduced on January 12, 2017, by 
Senator Jeff Flake, with Senator John McCain as an original co-
sponsor. The bill was referred to the Committee on Indian 
Affairs. On February 8, 2017, the Committee met at a business 
meeting to consider the bill, and ordered that the bill, 
without amendment, be reported favorably to the Senate.
    In the 114th Congress, similar legislation was introduced, 
S. 2959, on May 19, 2016, by Senator McCain, with Senator Flake 
as an original co-sponsor. The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Indian Affairs. This Committee held a hearing on 
the bill on June 29, 2016. On September 7, 2016, the Committee 
met at a business meeting to consider the bill, and ordered 
that the bill, as amended, be reported favorably to the Senate. 
This amendment clarified that the planning, design, and 
construction of the Rural Water System were authorized uses of 
the WMAT Settlement Fund.
    On September 29, 2016, the Senate passed S. 2959 by 
unanimous consent. The Senate-passed bill contained an 
additional technical amendment which struck an unnecessary 
cross-reference to the cost-overrun account in section 
312(e)(4) of the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights 
Quantification Act of 2010. The bill was received by the House 
of Representatives and referred to the Committee on Natural 
Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans of the 
House of Representatives. No further action was taken on the 
bill.
    The House companion bill in the 114th Congress was H.R. 
5433, introduced on June 9, 2016, by Representative Kirkpatrick 
and cosponsored by Representative Gosar. The House bill, H.R. 
5433, was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources. 
The House took no further action on this bill.

                 Section-by-Section Analysis for S. 140

    Section 1 clarifies that the Tribe may use amounts in the 
WMAT Settlement Fund authorized in section 312(b) for the 
planning, design, and construction of the Rural Water System.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 140, a bill to amend 
the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Act 
of 2010 to clarify the use of amounts in the WMAT Settlement 
Fund.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Robert Reese.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

    S. 140 would amend the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water 
Rights Quantification Act of 2010 to clarify that the White 
Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT) is authorized to use amounts from 
the WMAT settlement fund, as established by that act, to plan, 
design, and construct a rural water system. Under current law, 
almost $79 million is authorized to be appropriated to that 
settlement fund. S. 140 would expand the uses of the fund but 
would not authorize the appropriation of any additional 
funding. As of February 2017, no funds have been appropriated 
to the settlement fund.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 140 would not affect the 
federal budget. Enacting the bill would not affect direct 
spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do 
not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 140 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 140 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. The 
White Mountain Apache Tribe would benefit from authorizations 
in the bill to use existing settlement funds for planning, 
design, and construction of a rural water system. Any costs to 
the tribe would result from complying with conditions of 
assistance.

                        Executive Communications

    The Committee has received no communication from the 
Executive Branch regarding S. 140.

               Regulatory and Paperwork 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. 140 will 
have a minimal impact on regulatory or paperwork requirements.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In accordance with subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
S. 140, as ordered reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic):

SEC. 307. AUTHORIZATION OF WMAT RURAL WATER SYSTEM.

    (a) In General.--Consistent with subsections (a), (b)(2) 
and (e) of section 312 and subsection (h) of this section, the 
Secretary, acting through the Bureau, shall plan, design, and 
construct the WMAT rural water system to divert, store, and 
distribute water from the North Fork of the White River to the 
Tribe that shall consist of--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 312. FUNDING.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (b) WMAT Settlement and Maintenance Funds.--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (2) WMAT settlement fund.--
                  (A) Establishment.--There is established in 
                the Treasury of the United States a fund to be 
                known as the ``WMAT Settlement Fund'', to be 
                administered by the Secretary, consisting of 
                the amounts deposited in the fund under 
                subparagraph (B), together with any interest 
                accrued on those amounts, for use by the Tribe 
                in accordance with subparagraph (C).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (C) Use of funds.--
                          (i) In general.--The Tribe shall use 
                        amounts in the WMAT Settlement Fund for 
                        any of the following purposes:
                                  (I) Fish production, 
                                including hatcheries.
                                  (II) Rehabilitation of 
                                recreational lakes and existing 
                                irrigation systems.
                                  (III) Water-related economic 
                                development projects, including 
                                the planning, design, and 
                                construction of the WMAT rural 
                                water system, in accordance 
                                with section 307(a).
                                  (IV) Protection, restoration, 
                                and economic development of 
                                forest and watershed health.

                                  [all]