Coin Legislation Passed into Law or Awaiting Action

by Scott Barman on November 16, 2010 · 4 comments

As we know, the United States Mint does exactly what it is told by law. In order to understand what the U.S. Mint will do in the future, it is necessary to follow coin-related laws that are introduced and passed in Washington, DC.

2011 Medal of Honor Coin Designs

2011 Medal of Honor Gold and Silver Coins were authorized when the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act became law on November 6, 2010. The authorizing legislation was one of four coin bills that have passed in both houses during the 111th Congress. Many others will die in committee unless passed into law before the 112th congress begins on January 2011. (Shown: Line art images created by the U.S. Mint of the Medal of Honor coin designs.)

Watching congress could be a sport in itself. But for our purposes, we limit the viewing to legislation concerning coin and the U.S. Mint.

Since congress was in recess until November and the 111th Congress is getting ready to adjourn for the last time before the 112th congress begins on January 3, 2011, it appeared to be a good time to review their numismatic-related work.

Coin Bills Passed Into Public Law (2009-2010)

These are the bills that have passed both houses of congress and sent to the President for his signature.

Girl Scouts USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
Introduced by Jack Kingston (R-GA) as H.R.621
Became Public Law No: 111-86 on 10/29/09
One coin issued in 2013:

  1. 350,000 $1 silver coins

Surcharges paid to the Girl Scouts of the United States of America

  1. $10 per coin for the $1 silver coin

Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009
Introduced by Christopher Carney (D-PA) as H.R.1209
Became Public Law No: 111-91 on 11/6/09
Two coins issued in 2011:

  1. 100,000 $5 gold coins
  2. 500,000 $1 silver coins

Surcharges paid to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation

  1. $35 per coin for the $5 gold coin
  2. $10 per coin for the $1 silver coin

Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act
Introduced by Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) as H.R.2097
Became Public Law No: 111-232 on 8/16/10
Two coins issued in 2012:

  1. 100,000 $5 gold coins
  2. 500,000 $1 silver coins

Surcharges paid to the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission

  1. $35 per coin for the $5 gold coin
  2. $10 per coin for the $1 silver coin

5-Star Generals Commemorative Coin Act
Introduced by Dennis Moore (D-KS) as H.R.1177
Became Public Law No: 111-262 on 10/8/10
Three coins issued in 2013:

  1. 100,000 $5 gold coins
  2. 500,000 $1 silver coins
  3. 750,000 half-dollar clad coins

Surcharges paid to the Command and General Staff College Foundation

  1. $35 per coin for the $5 gold coin
  2. $10 per coin for the $1 silver coin
  3. $5 per coin for the half dollar clad coin

Coin Legislation Passed by the House and Referred to the Senate

These are the coin bills that have gone through the legislative process in the House of Representatives, have been enrolled, and sent to the Senate for their action. Coin bills in the Senate are referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
Introduced by Shelly Capito (R-WV) as H.R.2421
Passed by House on 5/6/10
One coin issued in 2014:

  1. 400,000 $1 silver coins

Surcharges paid to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Osteoporosis Foundation

  1. $10 per coin for the $1 silver coin

American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010
Introduced by Denny Rehberg (R-MT) as H.R.6166
Passed by House on 9/29/10
Adds a $25 palladium bullion coin to the American Eagle Bullion Program. The bill requires the design to be as follows:

  1. Obverse same as Mercury Dime
  2. Reverse design of the 1907 American Institute of Architects medal

Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010
Introduced by Melvin Watt (D-NC) as H.R.6162
Passed by House on 9/29/10
Requires the U.S. Mint to research minting metals used for coining money. Sets the study length to two years and requires the U.S. Mint to tie the research to Mint production. Bill includes two technical changes:

  1. Changes the American Eagle Bullion Program to allow the U.S. Mint to divert materials to strike collectibles
  2. Changes the National Park Bullion program to allow the U.S. Mint change the size of the planchet from 2.5 to 3.0 inches

Sources report that these three bills are expected to pass the Senate during the lame duck session.

Bills Introduced in the House of Representatives

Any member of the House of Representatives can submit a commemorative coin legislation. All they have to do is format the bill correctly and drop it into the hopper where the Clerk of the House assigns a bill number and sent to the Speaker of the House who assigns the bill to a committee.

Commemorative coin bills are assigned to the Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology subcommittee under the Committee on Financial Services. It is up to the chairman of the committee and subcommittee to determine whether the bill will be scheduled for debate or tabled indefinitely.

Bills not acted upon do not carry over between congresses. Meaning if they are not passed into law, they will not be part of the 112th congress unless they are introduced during that session. These bills are said that they "died in committee."

The following bills are not coin or numismatic-related bills but they are of interest to collectors and investors:

Free Competition in Currency Act of 2009
Introduced by Ron Paul (R-TX) as H.R.4248 on 12/9/2009 and referred to the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law. The basic provisions of this bill is as follows:

  1. Calls for the elimination of all taxes on the sale and transfer of bullion and coins
  2. Changes the law to allow precious metals to be used as coins or a medium of exchange. This was introduced after the Justice Department stopped the production of the Amero as being illegal.

Coin and Precious Metal Disclosure Act
Introduced by Anthony D. Weiner (D-NY) as H.R.6149 on 9/16/2010 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Bill is intended as a consumer protection law that requires sellers of precious metal coins and bullion to provide additional information to the potential buyer. Sometimes referred to as the Goldline Act since Rep. Weiner has targeted Goldline in his commentary regarding this bill, there are side effects that may impact coin dealers that are not part of Rep. Weiner’s target.

Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act

Introduced by Dan Lungren (R-CA) as H.R.5141 and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. This is the bill that will remove the requirement to report all goods and services purchased in excess of $600 with an IRS 1099 form beginning in 2012 that was part of the health care reform legislation.

Almost everyone in almost every industry is in favor of this bill’s passage. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) has introduced S.3578 as a companion bill in the Senate. Sources report that one of the bills will be passed in the lame duck session. However, there is a concern that the President may veto the legislation if the revenues are not made up elsewhere.

The following commemorative coin bills have been introduced and are in committee waiting for action:

  • NASA 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) as H.R.255 on 1/7/2009
  • Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by John Larson (D-CT) as H.R.1195 on 2/25/2009
  • Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefields Commemorative Coin Act of 2009 – Introduced by Rush Holt (D-NJ) as H.R.2001 on 4/21/2009
  • Robert M. La Follette, Sr. Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) as H.R.2318 on 5/7/2009
  • United States Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by John Boozman (R-AR) as H.R.2799 on 6/10/2009
  • Ronald Reagan Commemorative Coin Act of 2009 – Introduced by Robert E. Latta (R-OH) as H.R.3341 on 7/24/2009
  • Original Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Ultra-High Relief Bullion Coin Act of 2009 – Introduced by Denny Rehberg (R-MT) as H.R.3405 on 7/30/2009
  • National Future Farmers of America Commemorative Coin Act of 2009 – Introduced by Bruce L. Braley (D-IA) as H.R.3464 on 7/31/2009
  • National September 11 Memorial & Museum Commemorative Coin Act of 2009 – Introduced by Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) as H.R.3549 on 9/10/2009
  • 1863 Gettysburg Campaign Act – Introduced by Todd Russell Platts (R-PA) as H.R.3712 on 10/1/2009
  • International Civil Rights Center and Museum Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by Brad Miller (D-NC) as H.R.3912 on 10/22/2009
  • James Monroe Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by Robert J. Wittman (R-VA) as H.R.4329 on 12/16/2009
  • United States Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by John Boozman (R-AR) as H.R.5680 on 7/1/2010

Coin Legislation Introduced in the Senate

Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. constitution says "All Bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives." Since all commemorative coin bills raise revenue, they must originate in the House.

However, it is common for senators to introduce coin legislation to influence their House counterparts to introduce a similar bill or they will introduce a companion bill in support. Very few of the coin-related bills introduced in the Senate become law. Those that do become law are amended versions of the House bills passed in the Senate and sent back to the House for a vote–usually with concurrence of the House leadership. This process eliminates the need for a conference committee to reconcile bills.

Coin-related bills introduced in the Senate are assigned to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The following list are the bills that have been introduced in the Senate with the companion bills that have become law removed:

  • Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) as S.483 on 2/25/2009
  • Original Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Ultra-High Relief Bullion Coin Act of 2009 – Introduced by Max Baucus (D-MT) as S.758 on 4/1/2009
  • Robert M. La Follette, Sr. Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by Russell D. Feingold (D-WI) as S.945 on 4/30/2009
  • Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) as S.1012 on 5/7/200
  • Fair Treatment for Precious Metals Investors Act – Introduced by Mike Crapo (R-ID) as S.1367 on 6/25/2009
  • National Future Farmers of America Commemorative Coin Act of 2009 – Introduced by Chuck Grassley (R-IA) as S.1553 on 7/31/2009
  • Options for Investors through United States Certified Coins Act of 2009 – Introduced by David Vitter (R-LA) as S.1769 on 10/8/2009
  • International Civil Rights Center and Museum Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by Kay Hagan (D-NC) as S.1819 on 10/21/2009
  • United States Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR) as S.2106 on 10/29/2009
  • 1863 Gettysburg Campaign Act – Introduced by Arlen Specter (D-PA) as S.3009 on 2/11/2010
  • United States Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act – Introduced by Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR) as S.3572 on 7/13/2010

Scott Barman is a collector and author of the Coin Collector’s Blog (coinsblog.blogspot.com). When Scott is not playing with his coins, he works as an information security analyst in the Washington, DC area. In between all of that, he can be found with his wife and two puggles while they check out his pocket change.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Samo November 17, 2010 at 11:35 am

Obama is my president

Silverbug November 17, 2010 at 6:20 pm

The US Mint has yet to make coins honoring the other Armed services besides the Marines. I think it’s time as that would make a nice set to have.

TK November 18, 2010 at 6:11 am

I hope they pass Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act.
I dont have the time to isue 1099s. This is a small business killer.

JeffK April 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Ron Paul is a dreamer. The genie has been out of the bottle for decades and can’t be put back in unless he can wave his arms and re-regulate the precious metals market world-wide. Putting gold or silver into circulating coins will do nothing but feed speculation and make some big investors very rich at the expense of the Treasury. Like so many on the extreme right he’s trying to selectively re-create parts of a supposed “glorious past” that never existed.

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