Coin Related Bills in Congress

Commemorative coin programs and most changes to circulating coinage are authorized by Congress. As such, watching coin related bills introduced in the House of Representatives or the Senate can provide an indication of potential things to come.

In the 112th Congress, there have been more than two dozen coin related bills introduced. As is typical, a large number of these deal with potential commemorative coin programs. Under current rules, only two programs may be authorized for each year. As mentioned in a recent post, two programs have already been authorized for the years 2012 and 2013, and one program has been authorized for 2014. Accordingly, all of the bills are for programs from 2014 onwards.

Numerous bills this year deal with circulating coinage. Over the summer months there were several bills introduced which sought to abolish, limit, or modify the Presidential $1 Coin Program in response to a stockpile of more than one billion coins held at Federal Reserve Banks. Recently, the Treasury Secretary used authority under existing law to suspend production for circulation. Two more recently introduced bills seek to immediately modify the composition of cents and five-cent coins.

In order for a bill to become law, it must be passed in both the House of Representatives and Senate, and then signed into law by the President.

The two bills which seem to have the best chance of becoming law are H.R. 886, which would authorize commemorative coins to be issued in 2015 for the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service, and H.R. 2527, which would authorize commemoratives for the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Each of these bills has a large number of cosponsors and has already been passed in the House of Representatives.

A summary of coin related bills follows. Links are provided to Govtrack, which provides access to the text of the bill and the most recent status. Links are also provided to articles written on CoinUpdate about each bill, which provide additional information or background.

Bills for 2014 Commemorative Coins

H.R. 1736 & S. 889: Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack H.R. 1736, Govtrack S. 889, Coin Update coverage]

Each bill seeks the issuance of up to 400,000 silver dollars issued in 2014 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of President Wilson’s proclamation establishing Mother’s Day.

H.R. 2418 & S. 1181: National Future Farmers of America Commemorative Coin Act of 2011

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack H.R. 2418, Govtrack S. 1181, Coin Update coverage]

The bills seek to authorized the production of up to 100,000 gold coins and 500,000 silver dollars in 2014 to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the National Future Farmers of America Organization.

H.R. 3187 & S. 1935 March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Act of 2011

[Govtrack H.R. 3187, Govtrack S. 1935Coin Update coverage]

Status: Referred to Committee

The bills would authorize up to 500,000 silver dollars to be issued to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the March of Dimes.

Bills for 2015 Commemorative Coins

H.R. 886 & S. 431: United States Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act

Status: H.R. 886 Passed in House

[Govtrack H.R. 886, Govtrack S. 431, Coin Update coverage]

The bills seeks to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the establishment of the United States Marshals Service with $5 gold coins, silver dollars, and clad half dollars. The coins would be issued to the public in 2015, however the bill provides for a limited number to be issued Director of the U.S. Marshals Service and employees for display and presentation during the 225th anniversary celebration in 2014.

H.R. 1621 Marine Corps Aviation Centennial Coin Act

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack, Coin Update coverage]

The centennial of the Marine Corps Aviation, the air component of the United States Marine Corps, would be celebrated with the issuance of up to 100,000 $10 gold coins in 2015. Oddly, the bill includes specifications for the typical $5 gold commemorative coins for the $10 denomination.

H.R. 2527: National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act

Status: Passed in House

[Govtrack, Coin Update coverage]

This bill calls for the issuance of $5 gold coins, silver dollars, and half dollar to recognize and celebrate the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The coins would be issued in 2015. It is recommended that the coins have a convex reverse to more closely resemble a baseball and a concave obverse.

Bills for 2016 Commemorative Coins

H.R. 2453 & S.1929: Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack H.R. 2453, Govtrack S. 1929Coin Update coverage]

The bill seeks to authorize $5 gold coins and silver dollars to be issued in 2016 in commemoration of Mark Twain. No specific anniversary is associated with the issuance of the coins. In the past, there have been multiple attempts to authorize commemorative coins for Mark Twain.

H.R. 2968: James Monroe Commemorative Coin Act

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack, Coin Update coverage]

The bill would authorize up to 20,000 one ounce gold coins with a $50 denomination, 275,000 silver dollars, and 500,000 clad half dollars to be issued during the one year period beginning January 1, 2016. The coins would commemorate the bicentennial of the election of James Monroe as President. The denomination of the gold coin would be unusual for a United States Commemorative Coin.

H.R. 3180: U.S.S. Cruiser Olympia Commemorative Coin Act

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack, Coin Update coverage]

The bill would authorize the production of up to 500,000 silver dollars to be produced and issued during the calendar year beginning January 1, 2016 in commemoration of the legacy of the U.S.S. Cruiser Olympia. This is the world’s oldest steel warship still afloat. According to Wikipedia, the future of the ship is uncertain and it may need to be sold for scrap or sunk as an artificial reef.

Bills for 2017 Commemorative Coins

H.R. 497: Ronald Reagan Commemorative Coin Act

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack, Coin Update coverage]

The bill seeks to authorize $5 gold coins and silver dollars to be issued in 2017 in commemoration of Ronald Reagan,the 40th President of the United States. There have been numerous past attempts to commemorate Ronald Reagan on a circulating coin, commemorative coins, or currency.

H.R. 2139 & S. 1299: Lions Club International Century of Service Commemorative Coin Act

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack H.R. 2139, Govtrack S. 1299, Coin Update coverage]

The bills seek to authorize the production and issuance of up to 400,000 commemorative silver dollars to mark the centennial of the Lions Clubs International. The coins would be issued in 2017.

Bills for Circulating Coinage

H.R. 2593: Wasteful Presidential Coin Act of 2011

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack, Coin Update coverage]

The bill calls for the removal of the section of the law which authorizes the Presidential $1 Coin Program and seeks to restrict the overproduction of other $1 coins.

S. 1385: A bill to terminate the $1 presidential coin program

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack, Coin Update coverage]

This bill seeks to remove the section of the law authorizing Presidential $1 Coin Program. No further stipulations are provided.

H.R. 2789: Prevention of Wasteful and Unneeded Coins Act of 2011

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack, Coin Update coverage]

The bill seeks to suspend the Presidential $1 Coin Program for a period of 15 years. The current requirement for the Federal Reserve Banks to make each design of the series available during an introductory period would be removed. The production requirement for the Native American $1 Coin program would be removed.

H.R. 2778: Dollars and Sense Act of 2011

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack, Coin Update coverage]

This bill includes a variety of measures related to $1 coins. The number of presidents honored on $1 coins each year would be reduced from 4 to 2, the number of $1 coins issued for circulation would be limited to the number sold as numismatic items during the previous year, and it would be required that the Direct Ship Program would be available only to persons purchasing the coins for coin collecting purposes.

H.R. 2760: Presidential Dollar Coin Efficiency Act of 2011

[Govtrack, Coin Update coverage]

Status: Referred to Committee

In efforts to reduce the current stockpile of $1 coins, the bill would remove the requirement for Federal Reserve Banks to make each Presidential $1 Coin available during an introduced period, limit production for Presidential $1 Coins to not exceed the number produced in the previous year, and and require reports to Congress on steps taken to reduced stockpiles of $1 coins.

H.R. 2977: The Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings (COINS) Act

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack, Coin Update coverage]

The bill would seek to improve the circulation of $1 coins and eventually phase out the $1 bill. Specifically, the bill would require the removal of Susan B. Anthony Dollars from circulation and increased efforts from the Federal Reserve System to improve circulation and remove barriers to circulation for $1 coins.  A deadline is set after which paper $1 bills could no longer be placed into circulation.

A similar Senate bill calling for the phase out of $1 bills in favor of $1 coins is said to be in the works.

S. 1624: The Currency Efficiency Act of 2011

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack, Coin Update coverage]

The bill would allow the suspension of production for Presidential $1 coins during any period that the Secretary of the Treasury determines that the surplus supply exceeds reasonable circulation needs for one year. (This is similar to what subsequently occurred without the passage of legislation. The Secretary ordered the suspension of Presidential $1 coins for circulation- although limited numbers will continue to be produced to satisfy demand from collectors.)

Additionally, the bill would specifically restrict the “overproduction of $1 coins” stating, “no $1 coin may be minted or issued under this section during any period in which the number of $1 coins issued, but not in circulation, is more than 10 percent of the number of $1 coins in circulation.” The requirement to make unmixed quantities of each design of the Presidential $1 Coin Program would be removed. Reserve Banks would be required reduce surplus inventories to minimize storage expenditures.

H.R. 3693: Cents and Sensibility Act/ H.R. 3694: Saving Taxpayer Expenditures by Employing Less Imported Nickel Act

Status: Referred to Committee

[Govtrack H.R. 3683, Govtrack H.R. 3694, Coin Update coverage]

Within 90 days after enactment, the composition of the cent and nickel would be required to be produced primarily of steel with a general requirement that only steel produced in the United States may be used. The cents would be treated to impart a copper color so they are similar in appearance to the current coins. The bill covering five cent coins, includes a requirement that the coins should also be treated to impart a color to the appearance of the current coins.

Status: Referred to Committee

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Comments

  1. Rick says

    So todays’ 95% Copper Nickel is in some ways very similar to the Kennedy 90% Silver Halves of 1964 Yes? Those who saved/hoarded back then are now enjoying nice returns. I could see myself in a few years roll searching for 95% Copper nickels of 2012 or earlier, interesting. I’m currently keeping all of my nickels now. The other day a cashier said they only have .80 change in dimes, I said please make that in nickels, yes, I got a funny look. It should be interesting when this actually passes and the public in general catches on.

  2. DNA says

    500,000 silver dollars to be issued to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the March of Dimes.
    Does anyone else think the Mint should commemorate the March of Dimes’ anniversary with 500,000 silver W-mint Dimes instead of Dollars?
    I know, I know, this is too obvious and makes too much sense…

  3. VA Bob says

    DNA – a commemorative dime would be an interesting twist… might cut into profits though.

    Due to the subject nature of most of those commemoratives, I believe most of those production numbers are ver optimistic.

  4. Jemakat says

    ABC News had a piece earlier this month about extreme penny hoarders. These people are betting that if the law changes the composition of pennies, it will become legal to melt them down. I believe one individual had a warehouse with about $750,000 worth of pre-1982 pennies and continuing to grow. He has various hedge funds who have invested. Another individual had about $25,000 of pre-1982 pennies stored in his garage.

    Here is the link to the ABC News video:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/extreme-penny-hoarders-hope-cash-15077826

  5. Rick says

    Oops, I had 95% Copper pennies on the brain. I meant to say 75% Copper Nickels. A good buy for sure at face value. Earlier this year a Nickel was worth nearly 7 cents for it’s metal content.

  6. Jed Planchet says

    Changing the nickel will ruin it’s electronic signature and make them useless for vending machines. How about just eliminating new production of nickels and cents?

  7. Hidalgo says

    How many people really use nickels and pennies? Personally I like using my debit and credit card to make purchases. That way, I dont’ have to fuss with coins and dollar bills.

    By the way, Michael was absolutely correct when he stated that given the choice, Americans would prefer to use dollar bills instead of dollar coins when purchasing items. So when the Treasury keeps printing dollar bills, which the public prefers, is it no surprise that dollar coins are piling up in vaults? What the Treasury needs to do (and something I long believed in) is for the US Treasury to follow Canada’s lead and gradually decrease the public’s dependence on dollar bills.

    Also, Canada has taken the lead to introduce a $2 coin. Now that might be the next step the Treasury will want to consider after $1 coins become accepted by the American public…

  8. Anon says

    better start saving those nickels before they disappear from circulation like 1964 junk silver, easily double your money in a few years.

  9. Dr joe says

    Have been away for about a week and when I tried to order an ATB 5oz coin, the site states ‘rerpricing” Does anybody know how long this has been up on the site? Not trying to hijack the blog with another ‘5 oz’ question but not sure where to ask it. Surely going to decrease the price but have no delusions that may not be the case. Any thoughts?

  10. Brad says

    Wow, I’m surprised the Mint repriced the 5 oz. silver coins again. I figured silver would have to fall to $25 or less before they would do that. I wonder if this will be enough to finally sell the remaining inventory of Mount Hood coins?

    I haven’t bought any 2011’s yet. I still can’t decide if I want to bother with them. It looks like they will only be worth their bullion value in the future, so even at the new price they are still pretty much just expensive bullion.

    If I knew the “P” collector versions would be retired after 2011 and the set would only consist of 10 coins, I would probably go ahead and pick them up. But, the farther I go with it and the more coins are released, I’ll end up feeling the need to keep the set going. It’s a mentality I can’t seem to escape from. Just like a moth drawn to light, I am! 🙂

  11. Samuel says

    The repricing today may not help the sales of 2011 ones, people know they wont be gone fast, so they wait and wait, until the next and next price reduction.

  12. ClevelandRocks says

    I’m done with ATBs with this repricing crap. The devoted collectors get screwed by the Mint. Mint told me they would not credit me anything for one I just received today, but I can return it for full refund. I was going to continue to collect one of each P ATB hoping for low sales, but didn’t think the Mint would be such a$%#(%s to lower the price after the release. Who is in charge? This “no policy” policy of price changes for silver is toro mierda! I’m done!

  13. Samuel says

    Besides this repricing, the coin is in bad quality, both sides have spots. So, I am heading to the post office.

  14. Hidalgo says

    Cleveland – just return your coin for a full refund. You can order the same coin at a later time at a lower price.

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