Follow Me on Pinterest
Jul 012015
 

Reverse of the $2 Federal Reserve Note features an engraved modified reproduction of the painting The Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull.

Reverse of the $2 Federal Reserve Note features an engraved modified reproduction of the painting The Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull.

The enigma of congress predates the Declaration of Independence. It began in 1776 when it was clear that King George III would not negotiate to resolve the grievances. It took until the session on May 1, 1776 for all of the colonies to realize that independence was the only answer. Thomas Jefferson was asked to draft the preamble and five days later the Continental Congress debated the issue until June 11, 1776.

On June 11, rather than let Jefferson continue his draft, the Continental Congress elected the Committee of Five to write the full document. John Adams, whose role in the Continental Congress would be that of the Majority Leader today, was a member of the Committee of Five but insisted that most of the writing be done by Jefferson. The other members of the Committee of Five were Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston.

The committee presented the document to the Continental Congress on June 25. For the next seven days, the document went through the first ever mark-up session where members applied their edits to the document. Debate began on July 1 and by July 2 everyone who wanted to speak has their say before the vote. With each delegation allowed one vote, the final tally was 9 in favor of independence, 2 against (Pennsylvania and South Carolina), and one abstention (New York, their delegation did not have their legislature’s authority to cast a vote).

But if you thought that this was the end of the debate, you failed to remember that this was the beginnings of congress! The vote was conditional on Jefferson revising the document before it was adopted. The rewrite was completed and presented the final copy to the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 where it passed with the same vote. Adams felt that July 2 should be considered Independence Day. A combination of the day that the text was adopted and what we would consider in today’s environment to be a clerical error, the Declaration of Independence was signed (on August 2, 1776) saying that independence was declared on July 4, 1776.

The moral of this story is that no matter how ridiculous the bill or idea, it is not law until the final version of the bill is approved and signed.

Congress had a busy June with regard to coin-related legislation. The bills that saw action were as follows:

H.R. 2722: Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
• Introduced: June 10, 2015
• Referred to the House Committees on Financial Services and Budget

Track this bill at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr2722

H.R. 2726: Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)
• Introduced: June 10, 2015
• Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services

Track this bill at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr2726

H.R. 1698: Bullion and Collectible Coin Production Efficiency and Cost Savings Act
Sponsor: Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI)
• Introduced: March 26, 2015
• Passed the House of Representatives on June 23, 2015 by voice vote
• Received in the Senate on June 24, 2015 and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Track this bill at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr1698

H.R. 893: Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)
• Introduced: February 11, 2015
• Passed the House of Representatives on June 23, 2015 by voice vote
• Passed the Senate on June 25, 2015 by unanimous consent
• Presented to the President on June 26, 2015

Track this bill at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr893

H.R. 2906: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Texas Western College National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball championship.
Sponsor: Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)
• Introduced: June 25, 2015
• Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services

Track this bill at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr2906

 Posted by at 8:30 AM
Hometown collecting

Hometown collecting

In the 1960s when my parents’ first child was becoming old enough to be enrolled in school, they decided it was time to move out of Brooklyn for the better schools of Long Island. One day, my father found an advertisement in the newspaper for some new homes being built in an old hamlet on […]

POLL: Who do you want to appear on the $10 note?

POLL: Who do you want to appear on the $10 note?

Since Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that the re-designed $10 note will feature the portrait of a woman, there have been a lot of polls popping up asking for readers to add their opinions as to whose portrait Secretary Lew should choose. Most polls have selected up to five different women with an option to […]

Redesigned $10 to feature a woman

Redesigned $10 to feature a woman

Secretary of the Treasury Jacob “Jack” Lew announced on Wednesday that a newly redesigned $10 Federal Reserve Note will feature the portrait of a woman. Lew will make the final decision as to who will appear on the note in accordance to 12 U.S.C. § 418. The new note is scheduled for release in the year 2020, which […]

Interesting reads in the mean time...

Interesting reads in the mean time…

When I discussed the American Numismatic Association election, I noted that my posting has been more sporadic because of a business I started. This will continue at least for the next few months. However, if you are looking for different types of coin news and information, I invite you to follow me on Twitter. You […]

Summary of May 2015 coin-related legislation

Summary of May 2015 coin-related legislation

A great metaphor for the politics of Washington is that June opens with the Belmont Stakes, the third and longest leg of Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. At a mile-and-a-half it is horse racing’s longest race on one of the oldest tracks in the sport. It is traditionally called “The Test of Champions” because of […]

It's election time

It’s election time

By now, American Numismatic Association members should have received their paper ballot or the email saying the electronic ballot is available. Now is the time for all good members to vote for the sake of the association. Thankfully, the state of the ANA is calmer than in the past. Finances are stable, lawsuits have been […]