And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain. . .
As we wind down the end of a very interesting 2014, we also come to the end of the 113th Congress. This congress has been as inactive as any. Sure, there was a lot of press with faces from both sides spewing scary rhetoric about topics these people seem to know little about, but even when it comes to coining money, they have done less than any congress in recent memory.
Other than the passing the budget bill nicknamed “CRomnibus,” the 113th Congress passed only three bills that made it to the President’s desk. President Obama signed all three bills.
Bills Signed 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. This was a technical change in the law that changed how the size of the planchet was determined that were not able to be considered when the law was introduced. This bill was signed into law by the President on May 17, 2013.
- Public Law 113-212 formerly H.R. 2366): The World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin Act requires the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the centennial of World War I. In 2018, the U.S. Mint will strike not more than 350,000 silver dollar coins “emblematic of the centennial of America’s involvement in World War I.” The $10 per coin surcharge will be paid to the U.S. Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars to assist the World War I Centennial Commission in commemorating the centenary of World War I. This bill was signed into law by the President on December 16, 2014.
- Public Law 113-288 (formerly H.R. 2754: the Collectible Coin Protection Act. As I previously explained, this law enhances the Hobby Protection Act by allowing law enforcement and other legal actions against distributors and handlers of counterfeit coins and grading service holders. President Obama signed this bill into law on December 19, 2014.
Bills Passed by the House of Representatives
The following bill was passed by the House of Representatives but died in committee in the Senate.
- H.R. 2866: Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
Bills Introduced in the House of Representatives
These are the bills that were introduced in the House of Representatives but died in the various committees. While it may not be apparent from the titles, all of these bills have some impact on the coinage that would be produced by the U.S. Mint:
- 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
Bills Introduced in the Senate
Coinage bills are considered revenue bills because they earn the federal government money and are used to raise funds that are paid by the government to public and private organizations. Even though the United States Constitution requires revenue bills to begin in the House of Representatives, it is not beneath the Senate to introduce their own legislation. Sometimes, senators introduce concurrent bills—bills that are similar to the one introduced in the House as a mechanism to get one of them passed. These are the bills that were introduced in the Senate that died in committee:
- 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
With that, we close the books on the 113th Congress.