September 12, 2000
S. 624 would require the Federal Government to pay 76 percent of the planning and construction costs of the non-Tribal water system at a cost of approximately $51 million to U.S. taxpayers. Longstanding policy on non-Tribal rural water systems holds that non-Federal interests should repay 100 percent of design and construction costs with interest. The Administration also opposes the incorrect allocation of other projects' costs incurred by both systems as 100 percent Tribal. As the Federal Government is paying for the Tribal water system, this incorrect allocation would provide an additional subsidy for the non-Tribal system beneficiaries. The Administration also is concerned with provisions that would assign the ownership and operation of transmission facilities to the Secretary of the Interior, and about certain other aspects of the bill.