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
Track this bill at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr2722
H.R. 2726: Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act
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
Track this bill at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr1698
H.R. 893: Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
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.
Track this bill at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr2906