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