Recently, I met someone familiar with the internal workings of congress. After talking about the election, I asked about the coin-related bills that were still in congress waiting for action in the lame duck session. I passed along the link to my post about Coin Legislation in the 111th Congress and asked if any of the bills passed the House of Representatives and in a Senate committee had the chance of being voted on. I was given the following report:

Bills Passed by the House and Referred to the Senate
Three bills have passed the House and sent to the Senate for their action. These bills are currently waiting for action in the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. All three bills are expected to pass with the following modifications:

  1. Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act will pass without modification.
  2. American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010 will be modified to allow the U.S. Mint to begin striking palladium coins in 2012.
  3. Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010 will pass with the possible modification that the report is due to congress within 15 days of the end of the 2012 fiscal year.

Bills that are modified are required to be reconciled by a conference committee or just accepted by the House. It is expected that the House will accept the modifications by unanimous consent and will be signed by the president.

Bills Introduced in the House of Representatives
There are 13 commemorative coin bills waiting for action in the House Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. None of the bills are expected to receive attention and will “die in committee” at the adjournment of the 111th Congress.

In addition to the commemorative bills, there are three other bills related to collectors and investors that are likely to see some action:

  1. Free Competition in Currency Act of 2009 was introduced by Ron Paul (R-TX) and referred to the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law. The basic provisions of this bill calls for the elimination of all taxes on the sale and transfer of bullion and coins. It also changes the law to allow precious metals to be used as coins or a medium of exchange. As the future chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee, Paul may not push this bill. Rather, he will wait until the 112th congress to have it assigned to his subcommittee so he can control the outcome. This bill is unlikely to pass in the Democratic-controlled lame duck congress.
  2. Coin and Precious Metal Disclosure Act was introduced by Anthony D. Weiner (D-NY) and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. This bill is referred to as the Goldline Act since Rep. Weiner has targeted Goldline in his commentary regarding this bill. Because of the controversial nature of this bill and the potential for side effects that could hurt other industries, it is unlikely that this bill will be brought up again in committee.
  3. Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act was introduced by Dan Lungren (R-CA) and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. This is the bill that will remove the requirement to report all goods and services purchased in excess of $600 with an IRS 1099 form beginning in 2012 that was part of the health care reform legislation. Almost everyone in almost every industry is in favor of this bill’s passage. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) has introduced S.3578 as a companion bill in the Senate. Although this bill has bipartisan support and should pass with few issues, there is a concern that more conservative members will create a problem when demanding that revenues lost by this measure be made up elsewhere. Revenue enhancements (read: taxes) will be deferred to the 112th congress allowing this bill to pass. The president is expected to sign this bill into law.

Bills Introduced in the Senate
There are 11 commemorative coin bills waiting for action in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Only the Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act introduced by John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) as S.1012 may receive some consideration. Sources report that this may be done as a favor by outgoing Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-CT) for Sen. Rockefeller. If this bill is voted on by the Senate, it is unlikely to be considered in the House.

No further bills are expected to be introduced.

This will end the 111th Congress. It will certainly make for an interesting study for future historians. But for today, we can only wonder what the 112th Congress will have in store for collectors.

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