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116th Congress   }                                      {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                      {      116-274


                     GREAT LAKES FISHERY RESEARCH 
                       AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2019


November 8, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed


 Mr. Grijalva, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1023]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1023) to authorize the Director of the United 
States Geological Survey to conduct monitoring, assessment, 
science, and research, in support of the binational fisheries 
within the Great Lakes Basin, 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. 1023 is to authorize the Director of 
the United States Geological Survey to conduct monitoring, 
assessment, science, and research, in support of the binational 
fisheries within the Great Lakes Basin, and for other purposes.


    The Great Lakes hold 18 percent of the world's fresh water 
supply, and Great Lakes commercial, recreational, and tribal 
fisheries are valued at more than $7 billion annually, 
supporting over 75,000 jobs.\1\ By way of shipping canals that 
connect the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean and through 
ships' ballast water, the Great Lakes have become home to 
several invasive species including sea lampreys, alewives, and 
quagga mussels that have disruptive effects on native species 
and habitats, resulting in ecological and economic harm.\2\ The 
management of commercially and recreationally important species 
and the control of invasive species depends on United States 
Geological Survey (USGS) scientific research.
    \1\The Fishery, Great Lakes Fishery Comm'n,
the-fishery.php (last visited Nov. 4, 2019).
    The 1954 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries between the 
U.S. and Canada\3\ established the binational Great Lakes 
Fishery Commission to conduct research and make recommendations 
on the management of Great Lakes fisheries and to attempt to 
eradicate the sea lamprey from the Great Lakes.\4\ 
Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970,\5\ effective October 3, 
1970, transferred functions related to marine fisheries from 
the Department of Interior to the Department of Commerce but 
specifically excluded from this transfer functions related to 
Great Lakes fishery research and activities related to the 
Great Lakes Fishery Commission, leaving them with the 
Department of Interior.\6\ As the only scientific research 
bureau within Interior, the USGS has performed these functions 
without a direct legislative authority, resulting in piecemeal 
funding for the USGS Great Lakes Science Center from several 
different budget line items that have been subject to shifting 
    \3\Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries, U.S.-Can., Sept. 10, 1954, 
6 U.S.T. 2836.
    \4\Id. arts. II, IV.
    \5\84 Stat. 2090 (transmitted July 9, 1970).
    \6\Id. at 2090.
    H.R. 1023 provides clear authorization for the USGS to 
conduct science and research activities to support fishery 
management decisions in the Great Lakes. Funds authorized by 
this bill may be used to restore the loss of basic fishery 
science capabilities, accelerate the development of invasive 
species controls and restoration of native species, and 
implement advanced autonomous and remote-sensing technologies 
to multiply information gathered from traditional manned vessel 
surveys including hydroacoustic technology, acoustic telemetry, 
technologically advanced stock assessment strategies, and 
technical support to manage big data.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 1023 was introduced on February 6, 2019, by 
Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL). The bill was referred 
solely to the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the 
Committee to the Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. 
On May 8, 2019, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On 
September 18, 2019, the Natural Resources Committee met to 
consider the bill. The Subcommittee was discharged by unanimous 
consent. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) offered an amendment 
designated McClintock #1, which was not agreed to by a roll 
call vote of 15 yeas and 20 nays, as follows:


    No additional amendments were offered, and the bill was 
adopted and ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by a roll call vote of 20 yeas and 15 nays, as 



    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress--the following hearing was used to develop or 
consider H.R. 1023: legislative hearing by the Subcommittee on 
Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held on May 8, 2019.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the short title of the bill, the 
``Great Lakes Fishery Research Authorization Act of 2019.''

Section 2. Definitions

    This section defines the terms ``Great Lakes Basin'' and 

Section 3. Findings

    This section makes findings related to the importance of 
Great Lakes fisheries research and management and the role of 
the Department of Interior in conducting this work following 
Reorganization Plan No. 4.

Section 4. Great Lakes monitoring, assessment, science, and research

    This section requires the Director of the USGS to lead a 
comprehensive multi-lake fisheries science program in the Great 
Lakes Basin in coordination with regional, state, tribal, and 
local governments and relevant Canadian agencies. Research may 
include ecosystem science, food-webs and biological components, 
fish movement and behavior, population biology, habitat 
studies, invasive species science, and new and emerging 
technology and research tools.

Section 5. Authorization of appropriations

    This section authorizes $17.5 million per year for Fiscal 
Years 2020 through 2029.


    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.

                               BUDGET ACT

    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, October 7, 2019.
Hon. Raul M. Grijalva,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1023, the Great 
Lakes Fishery Research Authorization Act of 2019.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Robert Reese.
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,


    H.R. 1023 would authorize the appropriation of $17.5 
million each year over the 2020-2029 period for the United 
States Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct research activities 
in support of the binational fisheries within the Great Lakes 
    Using historical spending patterns for the USGS fisheries 
program, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1023 would cost 
$85 million over the 2020-2024 period. Such spending would be 
subject to appropriation of the authorized amounts. In 2019, 
the USGS allocated $4 million for similar research activities. 
The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within 
budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

                                                                          By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                             2020    2021    2022    2023    2024    2025    2026    2027    2028    2029   2020-2024  2020-2029
Authorization.............................      18      18      18      18      18      18      18      18      18      18        88         175
Estimated Outlays.........................      16      17      17      18      18      18      18      18      18      18        85         172
Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Robert Reese. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goals and 
objectives of this bill are to authorize the Director of the 
United States Geological Survey to conduct monitoring, 
assessment, science, and research, in support of the binational 
fisheries within the Great Lakes Basin.

                           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.


    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           EXISTING PROGRAMS

    This bill does not establish or reauthorize a program of 
the federal government known to be duplicative of another 


    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.


    Any preemptive effect of this bill over state, local, or 
tribal law is intended to be consistent with the bill's 
purposes and text and the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the 
U.S. Constitution.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes to existing 

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    This bill authorizes the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to 
conduct monitoring scientific assessments, and research in 
support of fisheries within the Great Lakes Basin between the 
United States and Canada. More specifically, H.R. 1023 requires 
the USGS to conduct research for deep-water ecosystem sciences, 
biological and food-web components, fish movement and behavior 
investigations, fish population structures, fish habitat 
investigations, invasive species science.
    It all sounds wonderful until one realizes the USGS alreay 
does everything this bill wants. In fact, to fulfill the 
responsibilities set in the 1954 Convention on Great Lakes 
Fisheries, the USGS maintains a fleet of modern research 
vessels in each of the five Great Lakes to conduct research and 
provide a real-time information for deep-water ecosystems, food 
webs, fish movement and behavior, fish population structure and 
surveys, fish habitat, invasive species research.\1\ The list 
is identical.
    \1\U.S. Geological Survey, FY20 Budget Justification at Ecosystems-
    Ultimately, this legislation authorizes $17.5 million for 
each of fiscal years 2020-2029. The National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service are normally the agencies that conduct 
fisheries studies, and it is unclear why USGS would be taking 
the lead. NOAA's fiscal year 2019 budget already includes $28 
million for ocean,coastal, and Great Lakes research, and $2.9 
million for interjurisdictional fisheries grants which can be 
used for Great Lakes fishery science.
    Aside from the duplication this lesislation creates in 
respect to the duties of two other federal bodies, the USGS is 
already doing the work that would be authorized under this 
legislation. This bill in unnecessary and duplicative; for 
these reasons, we oppose this legislation.

                                   Rob Bishop (UT).
                                   Jody B. Hice.
                                   Mike Johnson (LA).