At the beginning of each month, I like to provide my readers with a progress with coin or coin industry-related legislation being considered in congress. For the third time this session, there were no new coin-related bills introduced and those that have been submitted have not seen any legislative action. Considering congress has begun their summer break, there will probably be nothing to report for this month.
In similar news, on September 12, 2014, Richard A. Peterson, Deputy Director of the United States Mint provided a status to the House Financial Services Committee about the Alternative Metals Study. The only news to come out of the hearing was the recommendation by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) to use steel as a coinage metal. Stivers was reported to have said, “Steel costs about $900 a ton versus some of the other metals that cost up to $5,000 a ton or $12,000 a ton.”
Prior to the hearing, the U.S. Mint extended the deadline for public comment on the Alternative Metals Study. Predictably, representatives for the vending and coin-operated machine industries called on the U.S. Mint and the congress to maintain the status quo.
Outside of Washington, there is an issue with the enforcement of a consumer protection law in Minnesota that requires dealers with more than $5,000 in sales of bullion coins to register in Minnesota. One of the problems with the definition is that the Minnesota law defines “Bullion Coin” as “any coin containing more than one percent by weight of silver, gold, platinum, or other precious metal.” (see Minnesota Stat. §80G.01 Subd. 2). This means that dealers selling more than $5,000 of Mercury dimes or Barber quarters are required to register the same way as those selling American Eagle coins.
To learn more about this issue, I recommend a reading “Dealers to reject Minnesota clients” by Pat Heller that was published in Numismatic News. There will be more on this and similar laws in other states in future posts.
In keeping with the legislative theme, the following is what has been considered by the 113th congress thus far:
Bills Signed into Law
The following has passed both the House of Representatives and Senate and has been signed by the President of the United States into law:
- Public Law 113-10 (formerly H.R. 1071: To specify the size of the precious-metal blanks that will be used in the production of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins.
Bills Passed in the House of Representatives
The following bill passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate:
- H.R. 2754: Collectible Coin Protection Act
Introduced in the House of Representatives
- H.R. 77: Free Competition in Currency Act of 2013
- H.R. 220: Stop the Coin Act
- H.R. 627: National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act
- H.R. 1218: Commemorative Coins Reform Act of 2013
- H.R. 1653: Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act
- H.R. 1719: Cents and Sensibility Act
- H.R. 1905: Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
- H.R. 2366: World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
- H.R. 2633: Thirteenth Amendment Commemorative Coin Act
- H.R. 2760: Panama Canal and Pan-Pacific Exhibition Centennial Celebration Act
- H.R. 2932: United States Coast Guard Commemorative Coin Act
- H.R. 3146: Savings, Accountability, Value, and Efficiency (SAVE) II Act
- H.R. 3305: Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings Act
- H.R. 3680: Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act
- H.R. 3729: Korean Immigration Commemorative Coin Act
Introduced in the Senate
Even though financial bills are constitutionally required to begin in the House of Representatives, it is not beneath the Senate to introduce their own legislation or concurrent bills with the House. Coin-related bills introduced in the Senate are usually referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The bills introduced in the Senate are as follows:
- S. 94: To terminate the $1 presidential coin program
- S.203: Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act
- S. 768: Sound Money Promotion Act
- S. 1011: Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
- S. 1105: Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings Act
- S. 1158: National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act
- S. 1842: Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act
- S. 2303: United States Coast Guard Commemorative Coin Act
- S. 2310: Mother’s Day Commemorative Coin Act