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Calendar No. 244
105th Congress Report
1st Session 105-130
50 STATES COMMEMORATIVE COIN PROGRAM ACT
October 31, 1997.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. D'Amato, from the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 1228]
The Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to
which was referred the bill (S. 1228) to provide for a 10-year
circulating commemorative coin program to commemorate each of
the 50 States, and for other purposes, having considered the
same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and
recommends that the bill as amended do pass.
On October 23, 1997, the Senate Committee on Banking,
Housing, and Urban Affairs met in legislative session and
marked up and ordered to be reported S. 1228, a bill to provide
for a 10-year circulating commemorative coin program to
commemorate each of the 50 States, and for other purposes, with
two amendments. The Committee's action was taken by a voice
History of the Legislation
The 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act, S. 1228, was
introduced on September 26, 1997 by Senators Chafee and
D'Amato. Senators Kerry, Johnson, Santorum, Allard, Roth,
Moynihan, Frist, Moseley-Braun, Cochran, Faircloth, Brownback,
Craig, Kempthorne, Bennett, Inouye, Domenici, Kennedy, Dodd,
Kerrey, Grams, Hutchinson, Snowe, Helms, Rockefeller and
Grassley were added as additional cosponsors. The legislation
introduced was identical to H.R. 2414, the ``50 States
Commemorative Coin Program Act.'' S. 1228 has two purposes:
first, to place into circulation quarter dollars with the
reverse side image of the eagle replaced by a specific design
for each of the 50 States during a 10-year period; and second,
to strike and sell silver proof versions of these quarter
There were no Committee hearings held on S. 1228. At the
Committee mark up on October 23, the Committee adopted two
amendments to S. 1228 that provide for the ``First Flight
Commemorative Coin Act of 1997'' and the ``United States $1
Coin Act of 1997.''
Purpose and Summary
The bill reported by the Committee would change the reverse
side of our circulating quarter dollar coinage for a period of
10 years. Beginning in the year 1999, each of the 50 States
would be represented on the circulating quarter dollar with one
specific design in the order in which the States ratified the
Constitution of the United States or joined the Union. Five
different State quarters would be circulated each year from
1999 to 2008. Each State quarter would circulate for
approximately 10 weeks.
The designs for the States would be chosen by the Secretary
of the Treasury after consultation with the Governors of all 50
States, or such other State officials designated by the
Governors; the Commission of Fine Arts; and the Citizens
Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee.
The Committee recognizes that the primary purpose of this
program is to commemorate the unique contribution each of the
50 States has made to our nation's history. The Committee also
realizes that this program could produce earnings of
$110,000,000 from the sale of silver proof coins, and in
addition would produce indirect earnings of an estimated
$2,600,000,000 to $5,100,000,000 to the United States
Treasury.\1\ This estimation of indirect earnings represents
money that will replace borrowing from the public to fund the
\1\ Treasury Study, ``50 States Commemorative Coin Program Study,''
May 30, 1997.
The accounting firm of Coopers and Lybrand, L.L.P. and its
subcontractor, Opinion Research Corporation was commissioned by
the Department of Treasury to study the 50 States Commemorative
Coin Program. The results of this study were reported to the
House and Senate Banking Committees on June 9, 1997 as mandated
by the United States Commemorative Coin Act of 1996, PL 104-
The two amendments adopted at the Committee mark up of S.
1228 authorize a redesign of the Susan B. Anthony circulating
dollar coin and a commemorative coin program for the year 2003.
The ``United States $1 Coin Act of 1997'' authorizes the
Secretary of the Treasury to change the dollar coin to a golden
color and give the coin a distinctive edge. It also authorizes
the Secretary to select appropriate designs for the obverse and
reverse side of the dollar coin. The current design of the $1
coin has been subject to criticism because it has the same
color and reeded edge as a quarter dollar, making it difficult
for consumers to differentiate between a Susan B. Anthony $1
coin and a quarter. The amendment provides for the Secretary to
develop a marketing program to introduce the $1 coin and to
follow up with a study on the progress of the marketing
program. This amendment would not remove the dollar note from
The ``First Flight Commemorative Coin Act of 1997''
amendment provides for a coin program in the year 2003
commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers'
first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The program
collection would consist of three distinct designs for a $10
dollar gold coin, a $1 silver coin and a half dollar clad coin.
The amendment language is in keeping with the commemorative
coin program reforms enacted in 1996.
Section-By-Section Analysis of the ``50 States Commemorative Coin
Section 1. Short title
Section 1 provides that the bill may be cited as the ``50
States Commemorative Coin Program Act.''
Section 2. Findings
Section two sets out the findings of the Act. The
``findings'' state the following: that it is timely to honor
and to promote the diffusion of knowledge of each of the 50
states of the Union, their unique history, geography, and
contribution to our national heritage, that the American
circulating coinage is overdue for modernization, that the
program would earn an estimated $110,000,000 from the sale of
silver proof coins and an estimated $2.6 to $5.1 billion in
seigniorage over 10-year life of program, that the seigniorage
represents money that will replace borrowing to fund the
national debt, and that the program will encourage collecting
memorable tokens of the fifty states for no cost beyond the
face value of the coins.
Section 3. Issuance of Redesigned Quarter Dollars Over 10-Year Period
Commemorating Each of the 50 States
Section 3 provides for the redesign and issuance of the
circulating coin program. The program would begin in the year
1999 and last 10 years. The reverse side of the quarter dollar
will have designs emblematic of the 50 States. To ensure a
smooth transition into the program, the Secretary of the
Treasury (``Secretary'') may continue to mint and issue quarter
dollars in 1999 which bear the design in effect before the
redesign and the inscription of the year ``1998.'' Each of the
50 States will have only one design.
The redesigned quarters shall be issued in the order in
which the States ratified the Constitution of the United States
or were admitted into the Union. For each year of the program,
the Secretary shall prescribe, based on appropriate factors,
the number of quarter dollars of each design to be issued.
The Secretary shall select all designs after consultation
with the Governor of each State, or other State officials or
group designated by the State; and the Commission of Fine Arts.
The Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee shall review
all designs. The Secretary may develop a selection and approval
process which may include participation by State officials,
artists from the States, engravers from the United States Mint,
and members of the general public. The Secretary shall not
select any frivolous or inappropriate design. No head and
shoulders portrait or bust of any person, living or dead, and
no portrait of a living person shall be considered for any
design. All coins of this program are to be considered
The Secretary may determine how many coins of each design
are to be minted and issued in proof and uncirculated
qualities. The silver coins shall contain 90 percent silver and
10 percent copper. Silver for these coins shall be obtained
from available sources, including stockpiles established under
the Strategic and Critical Materials Stock Piling Act.
If any additional state is admitted before the 10-year
program has ended, the Secretary may issue quarter dollar coins
in keeping with the established selection process. The
additional design may be issued during any year of the program.
SECTION 4. United States Dollar Coins
Section 4 provides for a short title of this section may be
cited as the ``United States $1 Dollar Coin Act of 1997.''
Section 4 provides for amending Section 5112(a)(1) of title
31, United States Code, by striking ``and weighs 8.1 grams''.
Section 5112(b) of title 31, United States Code is also amended
in the first sentence by striking ``dollar,'' and by inserting
that the dollar shall be golden in color, have a distinctive
edge, have tactile and visual features that make the
denomination of the coin readily discernible, be minted and
fabricated in the United States, and have similar metallic,
anti-counterfeiting properties as United States clad coinage in
circulation at the time of enactment of this Act.
Section 5112(d)(1) of title 31, United States Code is
amended to include that the Secretary of the Treasury
(``Secretary'') shall select designs for the obverse and
reverse sides of the dollar coin in consultation with Congress.
Upon depletion of the Government's supply of $1 coins
bearing the likeness of Susan B. Anthony, the Secretary shall
place into circulation $1 coins that comply with this Act. If
the supply of Susan B. Anthony $1 coins is depleted before the
production of the redesigned $1 coins, then the Secretary may
continue to mint and issue Susan B. Anthony $1 coins until such
time production begins. The Secretary may include the
redesigned $1 coins in any numismatic set produced by the
United States Mint before they are placed into circulation.
Before circulating the redesigned $1 coin, the Secretary
shall adopt a program to promote their use to commercial
enterprises, mass transit authorities, and Federal, State, and
local governments. The Secretary shall conduct a study on the
progress of that marketing program. The Secretary shall submit
to Congress no later than March 31, 2001, the results of the
study of the marketing program.
SECTION 5. First Flight Commemorative Coins
Section 5 authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury
(``Secretary'') to mint and issue $10 dollar gold coins, $1
dollar silver coins, and half dollar clad coins with designs
emblematic of the Wright Brothers' first flight in Kitty Hawk,
North Carolina, on December 17, 1903. The coins shall be legal
The Secretary shall obtain gold and silver for minting such
coins pursuant to the authority of the Secretary under other
provisions of law, including authority to use the silver
stockpiles established under the Strategic and Critical
Materials Stockpiling Act.
Each coin shall bear a designation of the value of the coin
and inscription of the year ``2003.'' The Secretary shall
select the designs after consultation with the Board of
Directors of the First Flight Foundation and the Commission of
Fine Arts. The designs shall be reviewed by the Citizens
Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee.
The Secretary may issue these coins only during the period
beginning August 1, 2003 and ending on July 31, 2004. The price
of the coins shall be equal to the sum of the face value of the
coins; the surcharge placed on the coins; and the cost of
designing and issuing the coins. Bulk sales of the coins shall
be made at a reasonable discount.
The Secretary shall accept prepaid orders prior to
issuance. Sale prices with respect to prepaid orders shall be
at a reasonable discount. All sales shall include a surcharge
of $35 for each gold coin; $10 for each silver coin; and $1 for
each clad coin. The Secretary shall ensure that a plan is
established for marketing these coins and shall ensure that
adequate funds are made available to cover the cost of carrying
out that marketing plan.
No provision of law governing procurement or public
contracts shall be applicable to the procurement of goods and
services necessary for minting and issuing such coins. Any
person entering into a contract must comply with any law
relating to equal employment opportunity.
All surcharges received by the Secretary shall be promptly
paid to the First Flight Foundation for purposes of repairing,
refurbishing, and maintaining the Wright Brothers Monument on
the Outer Banks of North Carolina; and for expanding (or, if
necessary, replacing) and maintaining the visitor center and
other facilities at the Wright Brothers National Memorial Park
on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, including providing
educational programs and exhibits for visitors.
The Comptroller General of the United States shall have the
right to examine the books, records, documents, and other data
of the First Flight Foundation. The Secretary shall take such
action necessary to ensure that minting and issuing these coins
will not result in any net cost to the United States
Regulatory Impact Statement
Pursuant to rule XXVI, paragraph 11(b), of the Standing
Rules of the Senate, the Committee has evaluated the regulatory
impact of the bill and concludes that it will not increase the
net regulatory burden imposed on the Government.
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
Senate Rule XXVI, section 11(b) of the Standing Rules of
the Senate, and section 403 of the Congressional Budget
Impoundment and Control Act, require that each committee report
on a bill contain a statement estimating the cost of the
proposed legislation, which was prepared by the Congressional
Budget Office. This statement has been requested from the
Congressional Budget Office, but it was not available at the
date of filing this report. When the information is made
available to the committee, it will be placed in the
Changes In Existing Law (Cordon Rule)
In the opinion of the Committee, it is necessary to
dispense with the requirements of paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of
the Standing Rules of the Senate in order to expedite the
business of the Senate.
Treasury Department Letter of Support
Department of the Treasury,
Washington, DC, October 31, 1997.
Hon. Alfonse M. D'Amato,
Chairman, Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs,
Dear Al: I have reviewed the proposal for a fifty state
circulating commemorative quarter program and the study that
the Treasury Department commissioned for Coopers and Lybrand.
The study makes the following important determinations: (1) The
program has clear economic advantages to the government, with
between $2.6 and $5.1 billion over ten years of projected
savings; (2) there are no logistical or manufacturing capacity
problems that would preclude moving forward with the program as
outlined in the legislation passed last year.
The study, through extensive polling and market research,
concluded that there was a substantial degree of interest and
public acceptance for the program. Having said this, I believe
that the natural reflection of the will of the people lies with
their representatives in the Congress. Therefore, if Congress
directs that we should proceed with the 50 State Commemorative
Quarter Program, the Department of the Treasury stands ready to
The dignified design of our coinage and currency is an
important consideration, and every citizen should be able to be
proud that our money includes elements symbolic of the basic
principles of the nation. The legislation, therefore, should
provide for the full consideration of these and related issues
by setting up for design review by the Citizens Commemorative
Coin Advisory Committee and the Fine Arts Commission, to review
proposed designs, with final review by the Secretary of the
Treasury. This process will insure that no frivolous or
inappropriate designs are adopted.
I look forward to working with you on this legislation and
on future matters.
Robert E. Rubin.
We are very pleased that the one dollar coin bill is a part
of this legislation. Replacing the Susan B. Anthony coin with a
coin that is golden in color and smooth edged will allow it to
be more easily differentiated from the quarter. However, it is
only appropriate that the design of this coin depict a woman or
women of historical significance. To that end, we believe that
the new coin should depict the images of Sojourner Truth,
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony.
These four women were staunch abolitionists, and fought for
equal rights for women. It is largely through their efforts
that women have opportunities for higher education, the right
to control their own property and children, the right to hold
public office and the right to vote.
Three of these women (Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia
Mott, and Susan B. Anthony) have been honored with a statue in
the Capitol. This statue, however, was carved in 1921, and
failed to include Sojourner Truth, the great abolitionist,
feminist and preacher. In order to recognize the contributions
of all women it would be most appropriate that Sojourner Truth
be recognized along with her fellow women's rights advocates
for her efforts to achieve equality for all Americans, and
specifically for her work on behalf of abolition and women's
Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in 1797 in New York
State. Freed in 1827 under the New York State Emancipation Act,
she spent the next 53 years preaching and lecturing about God,
abolition and women's rights.
Sojourner Truth was an advocate for African Americans. She
spoke out against slavery at every opportunity and traveled the
country for many years preaching abolition. In 1864 she visited
with President Lincoln to thank him for the Emancipation
Proclamation and for being the ''instrument'' by which slavery
was ended. She mentioned to the President that she had not
heard of him before he ran for President, and he replied, ``I
had heard of you many times before that.'' She was a powerful
voice for abolition and also for economic and educational
opportunities for freedmen and women.
Sojourner Truth was also an advocate of women's rights. She
consistently supported equality among all people. In 1851,
Sojourner Truth spoke at a Women's Rights Convention in Akron,
Ohio. Despite widely voiced concerns by many of the white women
in attendance that they did not want an African American
speaking, potentially confusing and tarnishing their cause,
Sojourner Truth rose to respond to male preachers who were
denouncing women's rights based on the inherent frailty of
I want to say a few words about this matter. I am a woman's
rights. I have as much muscle as any man and can do as much
work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and
chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I have
heard much about the sexes being equal; I can carry as much as
any man, and can eat as much, too, if I can get it. I am as
strong as any man that is now * * * Why, children, if you have
woman's rights, give it to her and you will feel better. You
will have your own rights, and they won't be so much trouble *
She inspired the Convention and women's rights advocates as
she did all of her audiences.
Sojourner Truth dedicated her life to achieving equality.
She considered herself to be on a sojourn to tell the truth, a
sojourn directed by God. It would be a fitting tribute to
Sojourner Truth and to the truth which she preached, to honor
her by depicting her image on the dollar coin, along with her
fellow women's rights crusaders, Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony.
Robert F. Bennett.