Coin bills with unusual themes have been introduced during the opening weeks of the new Congress.
Selected measures introduced in the House include:
• H.R. 255, a bill “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.” Introduced Jan. 7 at the start of the new Congress by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, the commemorative package was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. The idea failed in the prior Congress.
• Another bill, H.R. 621, seeks parity with a Boy Scout centennial commemorative by mandating one for the Girl Scouts, whose centennial is in 2011.
The sponsor of the measure is Rep Jack Kingston, who introduced the measure Jan. 21 and has 24 co-sponsors. The Boy Scout centennial coin (2010) was a perennial congressional favorite until it finally passed in 2008. Girl Scouts weren’t included, so they are making a run for it. (The Senate has chimed in with its own bill, S. 451).
• H.R. 1177 would 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.
The occasion is to coincide with the “celebration of the 132nd Anniversary of the founding of the United States Army Command and General Staff College.” The sponsor was Rep. Dennis Moore and on Feb. 25, it was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.
• Another, H.R. 1209, mandates 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.” Sponsor is Rep Christopher P. Carney.
So far, there has been no committee action. Most are looking for silver dollar coins.
For any of them to move further, new rules require two-thirds co-sponsorship.