S. 1776 would revise environmental regulations that are applied to certain highway infrastructure projects on Indian reservations administered by the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Federal Aid Highway Administration (FHWA) and funded from the Highway Trust Fund. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) provided $2.4 billion in contract authority (a mandatory form of budget authority) for programs authorized by S. 1776 over the 2016-2020 period. S. 1776 bill would increase the contract authority available for those programs by $150 million over the 2016-2021 period.
CBO extends contract authority at the level specified in the last year of the authorization. Thus, we estimate that enacting the bill would increase contract authority relative to CBO’s baseline by $340 million over the 2016-2026 period. Use of those amounts has traditionally been controlled by provisions in appropriation acts that limit the amount of contract authority that may be obligated. Because enacting the bill would not affect direct spending outlays or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
For this estimate, CBO assumes that most spending for tribal highway programs funded from the Highway Trust Fund will continue to be controlled by obligation limitations set in appropriations acts. CBO estimates that the bill would authorize an increase in obligation limitations equal to the increase in budget authority over the 2016-2021 period. Under that assumption, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $150 million over the 2016-2026 period.
CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
S. 1776 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.