CBO cost estimate for the H.R. 5303, the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, as passed by the House of Representatives on September 28, 2016
CBO estimates that:
- Assuming appropriations actions consistent with the legislation, and accounting for anticipated inflation, CBO estimates that implementing the provisions of the legislation would cost $2.8 billion over the 2017-2021 period and $6.3 billion over the 2017-2026 period (see Table 1). Most of the costs would stem from providing the Corps of Engineers (Corps) authority to construct 30 new projects and implement modifications to six projects to mitigate storm and hurricane damage, improve navigation, and restore estuaries.
- The legislation would increase offsetting receipts in 2017 by directing the Corps to accept a lump sum payment from the Trinity River Authority in Texas to prepay its remaining debt obligations to the federal government and by transferring certain property to the Department of the Interior to be held in trust for the benefit of the Muscogee Nation in Oklahoma in exchange for payment of the fair market value of the property. CBO estimates that implementing those provisions would reduce net direct spending by $33 million over the 2017-2026 period (see Table 2).
- The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or revenues. The changes in outlays that are subject to those pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in Table 2.
- 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.
On September 22, 2016, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 5303 as ordered reported by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on May 25, 2016. The two versions of the legislation are similar, however CBO estimates that implementing the House passed version of the legislation would cost about twice as much as the earlier version of H.R. 5303. Additional costs would result from authorizations to construct and modify additional projects, and authorization of appropriations of $1.5 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and $170 million for the Corps to provide assistance to communities declared a disaster area because of contaminated water supplies. In addition, the earlier version of H.R. 5303 would not affect direct spending; CBO estimates the House passed version would reduce direct spending by $33 million in 2017.