Legislation seeking to recognize and celebrate the establishment of the Medal of Honor was approved in the U.S Senate Thursday by Unanimous Consent. The bill, H.R. 1209, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives back on May 14, 2009.
Following a procedural clearance step, the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009 will make its way to President Obama who is expected to sign it into law. That will authorize the United States Mint to strike up to 500,000 $1 silver coins and 100,000 $5 gold coins in proof and uncirculated conditions in 2011.
H.R. 1209, which was introduced by Rep. Christopher Carney, calls for gold and silver coin designs to be "emblematic of the traditions, legacy, and heritage of the Medal of Honor, and the distinguished service of its recipients in the Nation’s history."
The coins will include motifs that represent the 3 Medal of Honor designs (Army, Navy, and Air Force) and specifically honor the Medal of Honor recipients of both today and yesterday.
The Medal of Honor was authorized by Congress in 1861 and is America’s highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Fewer than 3,500 Medals of Honor have been awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces.
Included in the legislation is language mandating a surcharge of $35 per $5 gold coin, and $10 per silver dollar to be paid "to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation to help finance the educational, scholarship and outreach programs of the Foundation."
The coin bill is the second to pass in the Senate this week, as it follows Tuesday’s passage of Girl Scouts coin legislation which will introduce 350,000 silver coins in 2013.
For the latest 2009 bills relating to coinage, visit the Coin Legislation page.