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Disabled Vets coin bill moves forward

vm170.jpgHonoring veterans who became disabled for life while serving in the armed forces inched closer to reality May 20 when the measure was ordered to be reported favorably from the Senate Banking Committee. The 350,000 silver dollar commemorative coin bill has already passed the House.

Both the Senate and the House must approve the measure before it goes to the President?s desk.

It would be another military-themed commemorative coin. Groups previously honored include prisoners of war, women in the military, and specific themed wartime theaters such as Korea, Vietnam, the European Theater of Operations during the World War II and others.

Here are the key points of the bill:

? Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue $1 silver coins emblematic of the design selected by the Disabled Veterans? LIFE Memorial Foundation for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, in commemoration of disabled American veterans.

? Expresses the sense of Congress that, to the greatest extent possible, the coins should be struck at the U.S. Mint at West Point, N.Y.

? Limits the period for coin issuance to the calendar year beginning on Jan. 1, 2010.

? Imposes a $10 surcharge per coin, to be distributed to the Disabled Veterans? LIFE Memorial Foundation for the purpose of establishing an endowment to support the construction of American Veterans? Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington, D.C.

? Prohibits a surcharge with respect to the issuance under this act of any coin during a calendar year if, at the time of issuance, it would result in more than the statutory maximum of two commemorative coin programs per year

Introduced Jan. 23, 2007, by Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., it had 298 cosponsors by the time it passed the House a little more than a year ago on May 15, 2007.

?This legislation … is a simple, straightforward bill that would take a small but important step to recognize and honor the more than 3 million American veterans currently living with disabilities as a result of their sacrifice and service in our United States Armed Forces,? Moore said,
?In fact, of 26 million American veterans today, nearly one in 10 embody the physical cost of their service in permanent disability,? he said.

The measure is expected to make it on the Senate agenda before election recess in October.

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