US Coins

Congressional medal legislation awaiting possible action

Legislation languishing in Congress for more than 50 congressional gold medals includes a bill to recognize the Dustoff helicopter medevac crews of the Vietnam War.

Images courtesy of Dustoff.org.

If no pieces of legislation introduced in 2023 in either the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives seeking congressional gold medals are passed, it will be the first year in 18 years that no new such medal was legislatively approved, according to the GovTrack.us website.

The website is an online source for tracking pieces of proposed legislation.

In a Dec. 29, 2023, GovTrack.us article, it is noted that, while murdered black teenager Emmett Till and his civil rights activist mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, were posthumously and jointly awarded a gold medal on Jan. 5, 2023, authorizing legislation for that medal was passed in December 2022.

Similarly, while a gold medal was awarded in December 2023 recognizing Larry Doby, who broke the color barrier in the American League of Major League Baseball in 1947, that authorizing legislation was adopted in calendar year 2018.

Currently, more than 50 bills seeking congressional gold medals are languishing in Congress since their introductions, or re-introductions, in 2023. Many of the bills are tied to World War II, the Vietnam War, sports achievements, civil rights activities and the American space program.

Some of the legislative pieces introduced, listing bill number, designated recipient and date of introduction, include:
➤ H.R. 537, Forgotten Heroes of World War II, Jan. 26, 2023.
➤ S. 91, Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust, Jan. 26, 2023.
➤ H.R. 709, Muhammad Ali, Feb. 1, 2023.
➤ S. 273 and H.R. 865, United States Colored Troops, both Feb. 7, 2023.
➤ H.R. 1015, Dustoff Crews of the Vietnam War, Feb. 14, 2023.
➤ H.R. 1088, Shirley Chisholm, Feb. 17, 2023.
➤ H.R. 1237, Sarah Keys Evans, March 7, 2023.
➤ H.R. 1572, Hello Girls, March 14, 2023, with S. 815, March 15, 2023.
➤ H.R. 2752 and S. 547, First Rhode Island Regiment, both April 20, 2023.
➤ S. 1230, Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds, April 20, 2023, and H.R. 2800, April 24, 2023.
➤ H.R. 2831, Robert Parris Moses, April 25, 2023.
➤ H.R. 3272, World War II Nurses, May 11, 2023.
➤ S. 2861, Billie Jean King, Sept. 20, 2023.

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