Little numismatic work might be done by Congress in 2010 as it focuses on health care, the war on terror and restoring financial services.
This is an election year, and the 111th Congress could typically expect a half dozen coin and medal bills to work themselves through the legislative process, especially since Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has a stake in some of them. However, he is focused on restoring the nation’s financial system and he retires at the end of this Congress.
In the House, where most commemorative coin bills now originate since they have become revenue measures, the key is two committees, Financial Services, chaired by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.,, and Ways and Means, where Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., has taken a leave of absence as committee chair because of ethics questions.
Here are the pending numismatic bills (on House measures, unless otherwise stated, bills go to the Financial Services Committee):
• H.R. 255: mints coins in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
• H.R. 1177: mint coins in recognition of five U.S. Army five-star generals, George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry “Hap” Arnold and Omar Bradley, alumni of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to coincide with the celebration of the 132nd anniversary of the founding of the college.
• H.R. 1195: commemoration of Mark Twain. Also see S. 483.
• H.R. 2001: To direct the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the battlefields of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, and for other purposes.
• H.R. 209: mint coins in commemoration of the bicentennial of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, See S. 653. Passed House and referred to Senate Banking Committee (9/10/09).
• H.R. 2123 and 3712: Battle of Gettysburg and President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
• H.R. 2421: Centennial of the establishment of Mother’s Day. See also S. 1012
• H.R. 2799: The 225th anniversary of the establishment of the nation’s first law enforcement agency, the U.S. Marshals Service. See also S. 2106.
• H.R. 3341: Mint coins in commemoration of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President. Note: Another bill, H.R. 4705 requires the Secretary of the Treasury to redesign the face of $50 Federal Reserve Notes so as to include a likeness of Reagan.
• 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. See also S. 758
• H.R. 3464: the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Future Farmers of America organization. Also see S. 1553.
• H.R. 3549: 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and the establishment of the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center.
• H.R. 3912: Opening of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. See also S. 1819.
• H.R. 4248: To repeal the legal tender laws, to prohibit taxation on certain coins and bullion, and to repeal superfluous sections related to coinage. Referred to the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law.
• H.R. 4329: President James Monroe and for other purposes.
• S. 1367: 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. 1769: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow certain coins to be acquired by individual retirement accounts and other individually directed pension plan accounts and for other purposes.
These measures appear to have stalled out for the time being. But, who knows, as Congress rushes toward adjournment to go home and campaign this autumn some coin measures might sneak through, as has occurred in similar years in the past.