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Coin bills await action by Congress

As the 111th Congress comes back from its first long district break, its numismatic plate is not very full. Some of the bills likely to become law over the next two years have already been introduced but await the tweaking needed to make them into good coinage law.

 Other than introduction, nothing much has yet happened– that is likely to come later in this first session– but the introduction has put a small spotlight on sponsors and intent with the aim of eventually guiding some of them into laws passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by President Barrack Obama.

The current bills are:

• H.R.255: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Sponsor: Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas. Introduced Jan. 7. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

In previous congresses, a similar version passed one but not both Houses, so they try again.

• H.R.621: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the centennial of the establishment of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

Sponsor: Rep. Jack Kingston. Introduced Jan. 21. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

The Boy Scouts centennial passed; now it’s the Girl Scouts’ turn.

• H.R.1177: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition of five United States Army five-star generals: George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry “Hap” Arnold, and Omar Bradley, alumni of the United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to coincide with the celebration of the 132nd anniversary of the founding of the United States Army Command and General Staff College.

Sponsor: Rep. Dennis Moore, Kansas. Introduced Feb. 25. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

• H.R.1195: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of Mark Twain.

Sponsor: Rep. John B. Larson, Connecticut. Introduced Feb. 25. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

• H.R.1209: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861, America’s highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States, to honor the American military men and women who have been recipients of the Medal of Honor, and to promote awareness of what the Medal of Honor represents and how ordinary Americans, through courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism, can challenge fate and change the course of history.

Sponsor: Rep. Christopher Carney, Pennsylvania. Introduced Feb. 26. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

With more than 226 cosponsors, this looks like it will move later this year.

• S.451: A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the centennial of the establishment of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

Sponsor: Sen. Susan Collins, Maine.  Introduced Feb. 23. Status: Read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

The Senate corollary to the House bill. Only one number can prevail.

• S.455: A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition of five United States Army Five-star generals, George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry “Hap” Arnold, and Omar Bradley, alumni of the United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to coincide with the celebration of the 132nd anniversary of the founding of the United States Army Command and General Staff College.

Sponsor: Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas. Introduced Feb. 23. Status: Read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
Another corollary bill.

• S.483: A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of Mark Twain.

Sponsor: Sen. Christopher Dodd, Connecticut. Introduced Feb. 25. Status: Read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Dodd chairs the Senate Banking Committee, so this is more than a corollary bill. He also faces a stiff re-election fight as he goes for his sixth term. Watch this one for parochial interests.

• S.653: A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the bicentennial of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen. Benjamin Cardin, Maryland. Introduced March 19. Status: Read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Another corollary bill.

• S.758: A bill to authorize the production of Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle ultra-high relief bullion coins in palladium to provide affordable opportunities for investments in precious metals, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen. Max Baucus, Montana. Introduced April 1. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

A major bill for palladium, but a poor design choice.
 

 
 

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