US Coins

Bill seeks surcharge change; others seek new commems

A bill to amend the Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Coin Act to adjust how its surcharges are distributed has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

H.R. 3512 was introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., on Nov. 29.

If the measure becomes law, it would adjust the surcharge payment structure. The language of the bill states, “Section 7(b) of the Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Coin Act is amended by striking ‘to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission to further the work of the Commission.’” Instead, the bill would provide the first $2 million to the commission’s successor, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, to further its work. The new bill would also allow any amounts above $2 million to be split equally among Ford’s Theater, President Lincoln’s Cottage at Soldiers’ Home and the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library and Museum.

The Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Coin Act — Public Law 109-285 — provided that the surcharges of $10 per coin would be paid to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, which ceased operations April 30, 2010, before the payout of surcharges from the 2009 commemorative coin program.

The 500,000 2009 Lincoln commemorative silver dollars, each carrying a surcharge of $10, sold out in its entirety, though the final mintage is slightly less following reconciliation of the program. The program collected $4,999,340 in surcharges, none of which has been paid out.

New commemorative coin bills

Over in the Senate, two commemorative coin bills have been introduced addressing subjects covered in bills already introduced in the House. On Nov. 30, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., introduced S. 1929, a bill calling for the production of not more than 100,000 gold $5 coins and up to 350,000 silver dollars dated 2016 honoring Mark Twain. Similar legislation was introduced in the House when Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., introduced H.R. 2453, the Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act, on July 7.

On Dec. 1, Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., introduced S. 1935, the March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Act of 2011, calling for the U.S. Mint to produce up to 500,000 silver dollars dated 2014 with designs emblematic of the mission and programs of the March of Dimes. A related bill, H.R. 3187, was introduced in the House by Rep. Robert J. Dold, R-Ill., on Oct. 13, 2011.

Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act

A new version of the Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act was introduced in the House when Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., introduced H.R. 3421 on Nov. 14, 2011. The bill would award three congressional gold medals with different designs in honor of the men and women who perished as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

One gold medal each would be given to: the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, and the Pentagon Memorial at the Pentagon.

Duplicate bronze medals would be made available for members of the public to purchase.

The newly introduced House bill modifies the language used in earlier versions of the legislation — H.R. 2864 and S. 1239 — by specifying the recipient organizations. It has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services where it has 235 co-sponsors. ¦

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