112th Congress scorecard: coins and medals

Published : 08/29/12
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Two commemorative coin bills and three congressional gold medal bills have been approved by the 112th U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama as of Aug. 14.

Twenty-eight commemorative coin and 36 gold medal bills have been introduced during the 2011 to 2012 session so far. Congress returns in September from its annual August recess.

Commemorative coins

The 112th Congress has approved commemorative coin programs for 2014 and 2015.

Gold $5, silver $1 and copper-nickel clad half dollar commemorative coins will be issued in 2014 to mark the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

In 2015, gold $5, silver $1 and copper-nickel clad half dollar commemorative coins will be issued to mark the 225th anniversary of the United States Marshals Service.

Congress also approved and the president signed into law in 2012 legislation to amend the surcharge portion of the 2012 National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center Commemorative Coin Act.

The original act authorized the striking of not more than 350,000 silver dollars with each coin bearing a $10 surcharge. The surcharges, once the U.S. Mint recoups its production costs, are to be paid to the National Infantry Foundation.

The original act limited the use of the surcharges to establish “an endowment to support the maintenance of the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center following its completion.” The 2012 amendment will now permit the surcharges to also be used “for the retirement of debt associated with building the existing” museum and soldier center.

The museum is located in Columbus, Ga.

Gold medals

Legislation that also became law during the 112th Congress thus far includes bills calling for a congressional gold medal to honor the service of the Montford Point Marines, the first black U.S. Marines; a gold medal recognizing the heroic actions taken by the late Raoul Wallenberg to help Jews escape the Nazis during World War II; and three gold medals to be given to memorials in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., to honor those who died during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

All three gold medal bills also authorized the production of bronze duplicate medals to be offered for sale to the public by the U.S. Mint.

Legislation introduced during the 112th Congress but not approved by both houses and signed into law will die for lack of action at the end of 2012. ■

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