[House Report 109-633]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-633




 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 S. 1773]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(S. 1773) to resolve certain Native American claims in New 
Mexico, 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 S. 1773 is to resolve certain Native 
Americans claims in New Mexico, and for other purposes.


    The Pueblo de San Ildefonso is a federally-recognized 
Indian tribe in northern New Mexico along the upper Rio Grande 
River. In 1704 the government of Spain issued a land grant to 
the Pueblo; however, the grant area was considerably smaller 
than the total area of the Pueblo's aboriginal lands. In 1848, 
the United States, under the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, 
recognized the Pueblo's title to the lands included in the 
Spanish grant, but large parcels of aboriginal lands lying 
outside of the Spanish grant were not included. Over the years, 
the United States disposed of the Pueblo's remaining aboriginal 
territory without compensation to the Pueblo.
    In 1951, the Pueblo filed a land claim before the Indian 
Claims Commission seeking damages for the sale of its land by 
the United States. The Commission held that the Pueblo used and 
occupied a larger area than its current land holdings, that 
portions of those lands were later taken from the Pueblo by the 
United States, and that the United States was liable to the 
Pueblo for most of its claims. After several years, the United 
States and the Pueblo reached a mutually acceptable settlement 
that, if approved by Congress, would provide a process for 
selling and conveying to the Pueblo approximately 7,100 acres 
of its aboriginal area that is now located within the National 
Forest System. That agreement is embodied in S. 1773.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    S. 1773 was introduced on September 26, 2005, by Senator 
Pete Domenici (R-NM). The Senate passed the bill with 
amendments by unanimous consent on May 24, 2006. In the House 
of Representatives, the bill was referred to the Committee on 
Resources. On July 26, 2006, the 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.


    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.


    Article I, section 8, section 3 and Article IV, section 3, 
clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States grant 
Congress the authority to enact this bill.


    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. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 
enactment of this bill would increase direct spending from the 
Judgment Fund, which could be offset by future indeterminate 
payments from that fund. In addition, the Congressional Budget 
Office has concluded that the sales of the federal land to the 
Pueblo authorized by the bill would not significantly affect 
offsetting receipts, and the associated direct spending of 
those receipts by the Forest Service would result in no net 
budgetary impact. Finally, the Forest Service is authorized to 
accept gifts of cash for surveys relating to land sales; these 
receipts would not be significant according to the 
Congressional Budget Office.
    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 resolve certain Native Americans 
claims in New Mexico, and for other purposes.
    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 

S. 1773--Pueblo de San Ildefonso Claims Settlement Act of 2005

    S. 1773 would ratify a settlement agreement entered into by 
the Departments of Justice, the Interior, and Agriculture with 
the Pueblo de San Ildefonso. Under the agreement, the tribe 
would receive about $7 million from the federal government in 
exchange for extinguishing certain claims against the 
government. Funds from the settlement would be used by the 
tribe to acquire land, including about 7,600 acres of national 
forest land. The legislation also would allow the sales of 
about 425 acres of federal land to the county of Los Alamos, 
New Mexico, with an estimated value of about $500,000 and about 
740 acres to the Pueblo of Santa Clara for about $350,000. All 
proceedings from the land sales would be available to the U.S. 
Forest Service to spend, without further appropriation, to 
purchase nonfederal lands within or adjacent to national 
forests in New Mexico.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 1773 would increase 
direct spending from the Judgment Fund of the U.S. Treasury by 
about $7 million in fiscal year 2006. That payment could be 
offset by a reduction in possible future payments from the 
Judgment Fund to settle the tribe's claims, but CBO cannot 
estimate the likelihood, magnitude, or timing of such an 
offset. According to the Forest Service, the lands to be sold 
currently generate no significant receipts and are not expected 
to do so during the next 10 years. Hence, CBO estimates that 
selling the land would not significantly affect offsetting 
receipts (a credit against direct spending). As noted above, 
the Forest Service would spend roughly $850,000 of such 
proceeds, so there would be no net budget impact from those 
    The legislation also would allow the Forest Service to 
accept gifts of cash or services for surveys related to the 
land sales. CBO estimates that the total value of the gifts 
would not be significant. In addition, based on information 
from the Forest Service, we estimate that the administrative 
costs of implementing this legislation, including the required 
surveys, would be negligible.
    S. 1773 contains an intergovernmental mandate as defined in 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) because it would 
preempt state law and require that the settlement agreement be 
interpreted under federal law. CBO estimates, however, that 
this mandate would impose no costs on any state, local, or 
tribal government, and so would not exceed the threshold 
established in UMRA ($64 million in 2006, adjusted annually for 
inflation). Enacting this legislation would benefit the Pueblo 
de San Ildefonso because it is a necessary step towards 
implementing the settlement agreement between the Pueblo and 
the United States resolving the Pueblo's land claims. Any costs 
or duties that S. 1773 might impose on the Pueblo would be 
those it has assumed voluntarily as a party to the agreement. 
The legislation would impose no other significant costs on any 
state, local, or tribal government.
    S. 1773 contains no new private-sector mandates as defined 
in UMRA.
    On April 19, 2006, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
1773, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Indian 
Affairs on March 30, 2006. The two versions of the legislation 
are identical, as are the estimated costs.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Matthew 
Pickford (for federal costs) and Marjorie Miller (for the 
impact on state, local, and tribal governments). The 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.


    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