February 28, 2014
As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on December 19, 2013
S. 1300 would permanently reauthorize the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior to enter into special contracts known as stewardship contracts. Because similar provisions were enacted in Public Law 113-79, the Agriculture Act of 2014, those provisions of S. 1300 would have no impact on the budget.
The bill also would allow the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior to determine the amount of appropriated funds they reserve to pay for the costs of canceling certain stewardship contracts. Under the Antideficiency Act, federal agencies cannot spend funds in excess of amounts specifically made available to the agency. Because, under S. 1300, the agencies might reserve insufficient funds to cover all the costs of canceled contracts, the bill would effectively allow them to obligate sums greater than the appropriations they have available when they enter into the contracts—thus creating direct spending authority. However, based on information provided by the Forest Service regarding the total amount of potential cancellation costs for all stewardship contracts entered into over the 2004-2013 period, CBO estimates that enacting this provision would have at most a negligible impact on direct spending.
S. 1300 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.