With less than two weeks left in the current session of Congress, two
pieces of legislation authorizing congressional gold medals were
passed Nov. 30 and move on to President Obama for his signature.
A bill seeking a third congressional gold medal was passed in the
House and moves on to the Senate for consideration.
The two Senate bills receiving House approval are S. 1555, the
Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of
2015, which passed the Senate on July 13, 2016, and S. 2234, the
Office of Strategic Services Congressional Gold Medal Act, which
passed the Senate on Feb. 22, 2016.
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The bill for the third congressional gold medal — H.R. 2292, the
Merchant Marine of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act — was
passed by the House on Nov. 30 after being reported out of the House
Committee on Financial Services where it was referred July 9, 2015,
after its introduction.
S. 1555, introduced in the Senate on June 11, 2015, by Sen. Mazie
Hirono, D-Hawaii, calls for a congressional gold medal to recognize
Filipino veterans who honorably served at any time during the period
beginning July 26, 1941, and ending Dec. 31, 1946.
S. 2234 was introduced Nov. 4, 2015, by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., to
recognize with a congressional gold medal the services of
representatives of all branches of the U.S. armed forces attached to
the OSS during World War II.
The OSS, according to the legislative text, was “America’s first
effort to implement a system of strategic intelligence during World
War II and provided the basis for the modern-day American intelligence
and special operations communities. The U.S. Special Operations
Command and the National Clandestine Service chose the OSS spearhead
as their insignias.”
H.R. 2292 was introduced in the House on July 9, 2015, by Rep. Susan
Brooks, R-Indiana. The bill, if approved by the Senate, would
authorize a gold medal to recognize the World War II efforts of the
U.S. Merchant Marines who were “integral in providing the link between
domestic production and the fighting forces overseas, providing combat
equipment, fuel, food, commodities, and raw materials to troops
Following the public presentation of the approved congressional gold
medals, each is to be delivered to the Smithsonian Institution for
future display and research.
The Treasury secretary has the discretion to authorize the U.S. Mint
to strike 1.5-inch and 3-inch bronze duplicates of each congressional
gold medal for sale to the general public.