Apollo 11 Coin Legislation: Senate Support Urgently Needed
As I discussed earlier this year, a bill to create a program of curved silver, gold, and clad commemoratives honoring the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing has been gaining congressional support since its introduction in the House in June 2015.
That bill (H.R. 2726) now has 300 co-sponsors, an impressive achievement that means the bill can be put to a vote, where it would easily pass since that is well over the 218 votes needed to do that.
However, in the Senate, where a companion bill (S. 2957) was introduced just three months ago, there are just a paltry four co-sponsors, yet 67 (two-thirds of the Senate) are needed for the bill to be brought for a vote.
With only 43 legislative days left in the current Congress, it is imperative than another 63 Senators sign on to the bill in order for this important effort to become a reality.
Without the necessary Senate support by the end of the year, the legislation will die when the 114th Congress ends, and it would be necessary to start all over.
With a new president coming in January, the Congress will be very busy with other matters, and there is also competition from bills to create coins that benefit the baseball and football hall of fames.
But Michael Olson, an Iowa banker and former member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, who was the first person to suggest this program in 2014 when he was on the CCAC, explained that the public can help this effort by calling or sending emails in support of the legislation.
Mr. Olson said that when contacting your Senator’s office, tell them about the role that constituents in their state have played in the space program; the enthusiasm for these coins in the numismatic and space communities; and that the House bill already has 300 co-sponsors.
The Senate goes back to work after the summer recess in September 6, and the calls and emails are needed by September 15.
Mr. Olson also said that while support in the numismatic community for the Apollo 11 coin programs “far outstrips” the two sports-themed “proposals by a long shot, circumstances can change rapidly in D.C., especially near the end of a congressional session, so space enthusiasts need to join the fight now to put our Apollo 11 coins over the top. When I think about what this country accomplished by putting men on the moon and the national pride involved in doing so, it drives me to do all I can to make these coins a reality.”
*Image courtesy of NASA