It seemed like it was raining coinage legislation on Capitol Hill in May as the House of Representatives passed bill after bill that sets up new coin programs. If the Senate concurs, and the President signs the measures into law, the face of coin collecting will likely not be the same. Replacing it will be a quilt work of new programs and directions.
First and foremost on the scene was the double eagle ultra-high relief in gold, and a second version in palladium. See separate story on Page 4.
Other legislation makes for one of the busiest numismatic Congresses in recent memory:
Star-Spangled Banner and War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act (Under House consideration May 13 when squabbles broke out among the Democrats and Republicans, but passed under unanimous consent May 15. Referred to Senate Banking Committee May 19 after being Received from House) [H.R. 2894.]
? It authorizes 350,000 silver dollars in 2012 and instructs the secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue $1 coins in commemoration of the bicentennial of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner and the War of 1812. It requires a coin design emblematic of the War of 1812, particularly the battle for Fort McHenry that formed the basis for the ?Star-Spangled Banner.?
? Boy Scouts of America Centennial Commemorative Coin Act (Referred May 19 to Senate Banking Committee after being received from House) [H.R. 5872] This passed the House by voice vote May 15.
The bill directs the secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue up to 350,000 $1 coins in commemoration of the centennial of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America. It requires the coin design to be emblematic of 100 years of the organization and restricts issuance of the coins from to Feb. 8 through Dec. 31, 2010.
? H.R. 406, a bill to award a congressional gold medal in recognition of Alice Paul?s role in the women?s suffrage movement and in advancing equal rights for women. It got caught up in May madness, but ultimately the House voted 412-1 (Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, opposed) on May 15 and on May 19 it went to the Senate Banking Committee.
There are another two dozen or so measures that have seen floor action but not yet achieved final passage, and triple that sum of bills introduced that stand not even a ghost of a chance into becoming law. Some of the more likely candidates are:
? To award posthumously a congressional gold medal to Constantino Brumidi. (Referred to House committee after being received from Senate.) [S. 254]
? American Veterans Disabled for Life Commemorative Coin Act (Referred to Senate committee after being received from House.) [H.R. 634]
? Edward William Brooke III Congressional Gold Medal Act (Referred to House committee after being received from Senate.) [S. 682]
? Civil Rights Act of 1964 Commemorative Coin Act (Referred to Senate committee after being received from House.) [H.R. 2040]
? NASA 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act (Referred to Senate Committee after being received from House.) [H.R. 2750]
In all instances, the Senate and House must pass identical measures, deviating not even a comma. The President then signs the measures into law if he does not object to them. It seems likely that these measures will become law in good time.
One measure became Public Law 110-209 May 6 without fanfare.
? To award a congressional gold medal to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in recognition of her courageous and unwavering commitment to peace, nonviolence, human rights and democracy in Burma (Myanmar).