[Senate Report 114-363]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

                                                      Calendar No. 651
114th Congress      }                                    {      Report
 2d Session         }                                    {     114-363


                            SETTLEMENT FUND


               September 27, 2016.--Ordered to be printed


   Mr. Barrasso, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the 

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2959]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 2959) 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, with amendments, and recommends that 
the bill, as amended, do pass.


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


    Title III of the Act resolved the White Mountain Apache 
Tribe's (the ``Tribe'') 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. Sec. 307(a). The Act also establishes the creation 
of the WMAT Settlement Fund that can be used, for among other 
things, ``water-related economic development projects''. Sec. 
    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 above, the 
U.S. 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. 2959, was introduced on May 19, 2016, by 
Senators McCain and Flake. 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.
    The House companion bill is H.R. 5433 and was introduced on 
June 9, 2016, by Representative Kirkpatrick and is cosponsored 
by Representative Gosar. The bill, H.R. 5433, was referred to 
the House Committee on Natural Resources, and within the 
Committee to the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans.

                Section-by-Section Analysis for S. 2959

    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. 2959, 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.
                                                        Keith Hall.

    S. 2959 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 in that act to plan, 
design, and construct a rural water system. Under current law, 
almost $79 million is authorized to be appropriated to the 
settlement fund. S. 2959 would expand the uses of the fund but 
would not authorize the appropriation of any additional 
funding. As of September 2016, no funds have been appropriated 
to the WMAT settlement fund.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 2959 would not affect 
spending that is subject to appropriation, and enacting the 
bill would not affect direct spending, or revenues. Therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 2959 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
    S. 2959 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 

               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. 2959 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. 2959, as ordered reported, are shown as follows (existing 
law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic):


    (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--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (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.