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Coin legislation faces Congress this fall

Congress is on summer break and coin and medal legislation is on hold. That’s the Washington tradition, where commemorative medals and legal tender commemorative coins are usually authorized, with few exceptions, just before the election recess in the fall – and then in the waning hours of the first session.

So far, coin bills being considered are many, but there has been little floor action. Medals are more plentiful – also traditional– but seven pieces of legislation have already been to the floor of one chamber or the other, Senate or House.

Floor action on coins and medals so far:

Public Law 111-44, authorizing President Obama, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the historic and first lunar landing in 1969, to award Congressional gold medals to Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronauta. Also: a gold medal to John Herschel Glenn, Jr., former Ohio senator and first American to orbit the earth.

H.R.1209: Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861. The medal is 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.

H.R.1243: Provides for the award of a gold medal on behalf of Congress to Arnold Palmer in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf. Passed the House in April, awaiting Senate action to honor the Tiger Woods of the Fifties and Sixties.

Public Law 111-40 awards a Congressional gold medal to the Women Airforce Service Pilots.

H.R.347: To grant the congressional gold medal, collectively, to the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, United States Army, in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II. Passed the House in May, now under Senate consideration.

Coin bills still being considered in this Congress include:

H.R.255: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
H.R.621: Coins in commemoration of the centennial of the establishment of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

H.R.1177: Coins in recognition of 5 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.

H.R.1195: Coins in commemoration of Mark Twain.

H.R.2001: Coins in commemoration of the battlefields of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

H.R.2097:  Coins in commemoration of the bicentennial of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner

H.R.2123: Coins in recognition of and to commemorate the 1863 invasion of Pennsylvania, the Battle of Gettysburg and President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

H.R.2318: Coins in commemoration of Robert M. La Follette, Sr., in recognition of his important contributions to the Progressive movement, the State of Wisconsin, and the United States.

H.R.2421: Coins in commemoration of the centennial of the establishment of Mother’s Day.

H.R.2799: Coins in commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the establishment of the Nation’s first law enforcement agency, the United States Marshals Service.

H.R.3341:  To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United States.

H.R.3405:  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.

H.R.3464: Coins in commemoration of the National Future Farmers of America Organization and the 85th anniversary of the founding of the National Future Farmers of America Organizatio
n.
S.451: Coins in commemoration of the centennial of the establishment of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. (A parallel bill)

S.455: Coins in recognition of 5 United States Army Five-Star Generals (parallel bill)

S.483: Coins in commemoration of Mark Twain (parallel bill)

S.653: Coins in commemoration of the bicentennial of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner (parallel)

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 (parallel)
S.883: Medal of Honor coins (parallel)

S.945: Coins honoring La Follette (paallel)

S.1012: Mothers day coin (parallel)

S.1367: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to treat gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, in either coin or bar form, in the same manner as equities and mutual funds for purposes of the maximum capital gains rate for individuals.

S.1553:  A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the National Future Farmers of America Organization and the 85th anniversary of the founding of the National Future Farmers of America Organization.

There are over 45 different medal bills, all of which have provisions for bronze duplicate streikings for collectors. They include gold medals for Olympic great Glen “Jeep” Davis; Black History Month; Nancy Goodman Brinker; seven members of the crew of the space shuttle Columbia; Joseph Barnett Kirsner, M.D., Ph.D., Alice Paul’s role in the women’s suffrage movement and in advancing equal rights for women; and to Ray Charles, Tiger Woods (the Arnold Palmer of today), Shirley Chisholm, Rabbi Arthur Schneider, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Thurgood Marshall, Robert M. La Follette, Sr., American military personnel who fought in defense of Bataan/Corregidor/Luzon between Dec. 7, 1941 and May 6, 1942, and boxing great Muhammad Ali.

Honoring some military officials and their exploits with gold medals would include Capt. Felix Sosa-Camejo for heroic actions during the Vietnam War, Richard D. Winters for acts of valor on June 6, 1944, in Normandy, France, and Arthur Jibilian for actions behind enemy lines during World War II while a member of the United States Navy.

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