This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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With mid-term elections over, it is time to look at the numismatic program of the 111th Congress, which will be replaced in January 2011 by a 112th Congress comprised of individuals elected Nov. 2
There are a number of numismatic successes, as well as some failures.
In the latter category, to the surprise of many, is a proposal signed onto by retiring Senate banking committee chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., for a Mark Twain commemorative. He introduced it and it went nowhere.
In a possible post-election lame duck session, some of the numismatic proposals might get “clean shaven” – amendments removed – and moved to passage. Many think Congress could deal with Social Security and tax issues and some numismatic matters might squeak through.
But this lame duck session might be unusual because of the change of party control of the House of Representatives. That affects their ability to move the lame duck items along.
Whatever the outcome of the lame duck session, the successes already achieved include:
• H.R.621: Girl Scouts USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act for 2013. Became Public Law No: 111-86.
• H.R.1209: Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act for 2011. Became Public Law No: 111-91.
• H.R.2097: Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act for 2012. Became Public Law No: 111-232
• H.R.1243: To provide 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. Became Public Law No: 111-65.
• H.R.2245: New Frontier (Astronauts) Congressional Gold Medal. Became Public Law No: 111-44. See Page 1 story.
• H.R.4684: National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum Commemorative Medal Act of 2010. Became Public Law No: 111.
• S.614 : A bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Air Force Service Pilots (“WASP”). Became Public Law No: 111-40.
• H.R.1177, the 5-Star Generals Commemorative Coin Act for 2013. Became Public Law No: 111-262.
• S.846 is a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Dr. Muhammad Yunus in recognition of his contributions to the fight against global poverty. Became Public Law No: 111-253.
Pending matters include:
• Coin Modernization, Oversight and Continuity Act of 2010, H.R. 6162, had its contents gutted and was rewritten. It now proposes a mechanism to change coinage alloys, deal with various metal issues inside and outside the Mint. Subcommittee Chair Melvin Watts wrote both the bill and its new language as an amendment. It passed the House Sept. 29. Most likely it will have to have another go next year.
• Watts also introduced the amended, H.R. 6166, the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010, which first calls for a marketing study then specifies how the coins are to be designed and production specs. That also passed the House Sept. 29 and is pending.
• H.R.2421, the Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act. Passed the House in 2010. Still pending in the Senate.