H.R. 5041, Naftali Fraenkel Rewards for Justice Act of 2014

Cost Estimate
August 8, 2014

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs
on July 30, 2014

H.R. 5041 would authorize the State Department to offer a reward for information about the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Fraenkel earlier this year. The reward would be made under the terms and conditions of the department’s Rewards for Justice Program, which uses appropriated funds to offer cash awards for information leading to the capture or conviction of certain terrorists and criminals, and for other related purposes. Given the uncertainties associated with estimating when individuals might come forward with pertinent information, CBO has no basis to estimate when and in what amounts such rewards might be paid. The bill also would require the department to provide additional details in its reports to the Congress on the rewards program. CBO estimates that implementing the additional reporting requirements would cost less than $500,000 over the 2015-2019 period, assuming the availability of appropriated funds. Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to this legislation because it would not affect direct spending or revenues.

H.R. 5041 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.

On July 25, 2014, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 2577, a bill to require the Secretary of State to offer rewards totaling up to $5,000,000 for information on the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Fraenkel, a dual United States-Israeli citizen, that began on June 12, 2014, as reported by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on July 21, 2014. The two bills are similar; however, S. 2577 would cap the reward amount at $5 million and H.R. 5041 contains additional reporting requirements. CBO’s cost estimates for the bills reflect those differences.