CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 1945 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) on April 2, 2009. The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which took no official action.
H.R. 1945 would direct the Secretary of the Interior (acting through the Bureau of Reclamation) to complete a study to evaluate alternative water irrigation sources for domestic, commercial, municipal, and industrial water supplies for the Tule River Tribe of the Tule River Reservation. The bill requires that the study be completed within two years after funds are appropriated or a settlement agreement on water rights is reached by the Tule River Tribe, along with other users.
The legislation would also prohibits projects related to the study from supplying water to Tribal casinos, except for the casino currently operated by the Tribe on the Tule River Reservation and any lodging, dining, entertainment or similar facility operated in relation to this casino.
H.R. 1945 would authorize $3,000,000 to carry out these provisions.
The Tule River Indian Reservation was established at its present location in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains in California through an executive order issued by President Ulysses S. Grant on January 9, 1873. Today, the reservation area is made up of about 48,000 acres with about 200 acres capable of irrigation.
The Tule River Tribe is currently engaged in water rights settlement negotiations with downstream users of water flowing from the south fork of the Tule River. According to the Tule River Tribe's website, the purpose of these negotiations is to determine the water rights of the Tribe under federal law and to use these rights to create a self-sustaining homeland.
A CBO score for H.R. 1945 was not yet available.