Text: S.1929 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (11/30/2011)


112th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1929


To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of Mark Twain.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 30, 2011

Mr. Blumenthal (for himself, Mr. Lieberman, Mrs. McCaskill, Mr. Blunt, Mr. Schumer, Mrs. Gillibrand, and Mrs. Feinstein) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs


A BILL

To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of Mark Twain.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

The Congress finds the following:

(1) Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, was a unique American voice whose literary work has had a lasting effect on the history and culture of the United States.

(2) Mark Twain remains one of the best known Americans in the world, with over 6,500 editions of his books translated into 75 languages.

(3) The literary and educational legacy of Mark Twain remains strong. Nearly every book he wrote is still in print, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, neither of which has gone out of print since it was first published, more than a century ago.

(4) In the past 2 decades alone, there have been more than 100 books published and more than 250 doctoral dissertations written on the life and work of Mark Twain.

(5) Even today, people in the United States seek to know more about the life and work of Mark Twain. People from around the world and all 50 States visit national historic landmarks like the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri.

(6) The work of Mark Twain is remembered for addressing the complex social issues facing the United States at the turn of the century, including the legacy of the Civil War, race relations, and the economic inequalities of the so-called “Gilded Age”.

SEC. 3. Coin specifications.

(a) Denominations.—The Secretary of the Treasury (hereafter in this Act referred to as the “Secretary”) shall mint and issue the following coins in commemoration of Mark Twain:

(1) $5 GOLD COINS.—Not more than 100,000 $5 coins, which shall—

(A) weigh 8.359 grams;

(B) have a diameter of 0.850 inches; and

(C) contain 90 percent gold and 10 percent alloy.

(2) $1 SILVER COINS.—Not more than 350,000 $1 coins, which shall—

(A) weigh 26.73 grams;

(B) have a diameter of 1.500 inches; and

(C) contain 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper.

(b) Legal tender.—The coins minted under this Act shall be legal tender, as provided in section 5103 of title 31, United States Code.

(c) Numismatic items.—For purposes of section 5134 and 5136 of title 31, United States Code, all coins minted under this Act shall be considered to be numismatic items.

SEC. 4. Design of coins.

(a) Design requirements.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The design of the coins minted under this Act shall be emblematic of the life and legacy of Mark Twain.

(2) DESIGNATION AND INSCRIPTIONS.—On each coin minted under this Act there shall be—

(A) a designation of the value of the coin;

(B) an inscription of the year “2016”; and

(C) inscriptions of the words “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, “United States of America”, and “E Pluribus Unum”.

(b) Selection.—The design for the coins minted under this Act shall be—

(1) selected by the Secretary after consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts and the Board of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut; and

(2) reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

SEC. 5. Issuance of coins.

(a) Quality of coins.—Coins minted under this Act shall be issued in uncirculated and proof qualities.

(b) Mint facility.—Only 1 facility of the United States Mint may be used to strike any particular quality of the coins minted under this Act.

(c) Period for issuance.—The Secretary may issue coins minted under this Act only during the 1-year period beginning on January 1, 2016.

SEC. 6. Sale of coins.

(a) Sale price.—The coins issued under this Act shall be sold by the Secretary at a price equal to the sum of—

(1) the face value of the coins;

(2) the surcharge provided in section 7(a) with respect to such coins; and

(3) the cost of designing and issuing the coins (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping).

(b) Bulk sales.—The Secretary shall make bulk sales of the coins issued under this Act at a reasonable discount.

(c) Prepaid orders.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall accept prepaid orders for the coins minted under this Act before the issuance of such coins.

(2) DISCOUNT.—Sale prices with respect to prepaid orders under paragraph (1) shall be at a reasonable discount.

SEC. 7. Surcharges.

(a) In general.—All sales of coins issued under this Act shall include a surcharge of—

(1) $35 per coin for the $5 coin; and

(2) $10 per coin for the $1 coin.

(b) Distribution.—Subject to section 5134(f)(1) of title 31, United States Code, all surcharges received by the Secretary from the sale of coins issued under this Act shall be promptly paid by the Secretary as follows:

(1) One-fourth of the surcharges shall be paid to the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, to support the restoration of the Mark Twain house and grounds and to ensure growth and innovation in museum programming to research, promote, and educate on the legacy of Mark Twain.

(2) One-fourth of the surcharges shall be paid to the Mark Twain Project at the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley, California, to support programs to study and promote the legacy of Mark Twain.

(3) One-fourth of the surcharges shall be paid to the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, New York, to support programs to study and promote the legacy of Mark Twain.

(4) One-fourth of the surcharges shall be paid to the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri, to preserve historical sites relating to Mark Twain and to support programs to study and promote the legacy of Mark Twain.

(c) Audits.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall have the right to examine such books, records, documents, and other data of each of the organizations referred to in subsection (b) as may be related to the expenditures of amounts paid under that subsection.

(d) Limitation.—Notwithstanding subsection (a), no surcharge may be included with respect to the issuance under this Act of any coin during a calendar year if, as of the time of such issuance, the issuance of such coin would result in the number of commemorative coin programs issued during such year to exceed the annual 2 commemorative coin program issuance limitation under section 5112(m)(1) of title 31, United States Code (as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act). The Secretary of the Treasury may issue guidance to carry out this subsection.