At noon on January 3, 2018, the 116th Congress gaveled into session. The first day of a new congressional session is mostly ceremonial and procedural. Leaders are chosen. Rules are established. Committees are formed. And the House of Representatives gets to work on a new budget.
Usually, the budget the House starts with is for the next fiscal year. This year, the 115th Congress did not finish their work and left the government unfunded. It does not matter whose side you are on or what animal you worship, the bottom line is that 800,000 federal employees, many more contractors, and the businesses that rely on their patronage were hurt. Sure, the federal employees will earn back pay but the contractors who were furloughed will not. The businesses that serve these people will also not be made whole.
But that did not stop members of Congress from submitting bills for consideration. As I write this, there have been 842 bills submitted in the House of Representatives and 268 in the Senate. Of those bills, only four have numismatic significance. All four bills were also submitted in the 115th Congress but had died in committee when that Congress adjourned for the final time.
As of now, the Financial Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), has not posted the rules as to what it will take for numismatic-relation legislation to move forward. Since the 112th Congress, the committee required a numismatic bill to have 250 co-sponsors. But since the control of the committee has changed parties, we will have to wait until the committee publishes their rules.
Here are the first four numismatic-related bills submitted in the 116th Congress: