S. 216 would compensate the Spokane Tribe of Indians for the use of tribal lands in the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State. Beginning in 2022, the bill would require the federal Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to make annual payments to the tribe out of receipts from the sale of electricity. Starting in 2030, BPA could offset a portion of those payments by paying less interest to the Treasury.
Payments to the tribe would total about $6 million annually through 2029, CBO estimates. However, the net effect on direct spending would not be significant because CBO anticipates that BPA would raise its electricity rates to cover those costs. Thus, payments to the tribe would generally be offset by an equivalent increase in receipts from BPA’s electricity customers, which are recorded in the budget as reductions in direct spending.
Starting in 2030, S. 216 would increase payments to the tribe to about $8 million annually and would reduce the amount that BPA makes in interest payments to the Treasury each year by $2.7 million. CBO anticipates that BPA would reduce rates to mirror that lower interest payment. Thus, CBO estimates that the expected reduction in receipts under the bill would indefinitely increase annual direct spending by $2.7 million starting in 2030.