Text: H.R.2535 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Bill text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (06/27/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2535

To cause increased seigniorage for the United States Mint leading to enhanced revenue to the Treasury and increased offsets to annual budget deficits in perpetuity, to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue coins commemorating and celebrating American Liberty, “The Union”, and the American values and attributes of freedom, independence, civil governance, enlightenment, peace, strength, equality, democracy, and justice, to provide for the continued and concurrent production and distribution of existing presidentially-themed circulating and numismatic coinage designs, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 27, 2013

Mr. Barr (for himself, Mr. Loebsack, Mr. Stivers, Mr. Meadows, and Mr. Yoho) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services


A BILL

To cause increased seigniorage for the United States Mint leading to enhanced revenue to the Treasury and increased offsets to annual budget deficits in perpetuity, to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue coins commemorating and celebrating American Liberty, “The Union”, and the American values and attributes of freedom, independence, civil governance, enlightenment, peace, strength, equality, democracy, and justice, to provide for the continued and concurrent production and distribution of existing presidentially-themed circulating and numismatic coinage designs, and for other purposes.

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 “American Liberty Coinage and Deficit Reduction Act of 2013”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

The Congress finds as follows:

(1) The 50 State Quarters Program showed that a circulating commemorative coinage program that incorporates recurring design change dramatically increases seigniorage—the profit realized by the Mint from the amount that the face value of coins produced by the Mint exceeds the costs of production and distribution.

(2) Pursuant to the President’s 1967 Commission on Budget Concepts, seigniorage proceeds are used to reduce the amount the government would otherwise borrow from the public to finance the budget deficit. Thus, programs that increase seigniorage provide a means to reduce the budget deficit without increasing taxes or cutting spending.

(3) During the 10 years of the 50 State Quarters Program, the cumulative production of quarter dollars exceeded 34,000,000,000, representing a 136 percent increase in quarter dollar production as compared to the cumulative 10-year period immediately preceding the program. This enhanced production level of quarter dollars resulted in increased seigniorage revenues of approximately $3,000,000,000 and, therefore, an equal reduction in the budget deficit.

(4) The Mint has estimated that 147,000,000 Americans became collectors of 50 State quarters, demonstrating that the demand for circulating coins—for purposes beyond the needs of commerce—increases significantly when frequent and systematic design changes are made through a multiyear commemorative design series.

(5) Similar to the collector interest and resulting seigniorage generated by the 50 State Quarters Program, the Westward Journey Nickel Program, which issued a series of 5-cent coins between 2004 and 2006 bearing new obverse and reverse designs commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and honoring President Thomas Jefferson, saw average annual nickel production increase by 593,200,000 units as compared to nickel production during the 2 years immediately preceding the program and the 2 years immediately following it.

(6) From the early 1790s through the early to mid 20th century, allegorical depictions of “Liberty” dominated the designs of circulating United States coins. Coinage from this time period served as a constant reminder to Americans and the world of a defining and distinctive value of American life and culture—Liberty. These coins also provided some of the most inspiring, uplifting, and beautiful coin designs ever created. In numismatics, “Liberty” themed coins are among the most sought after collectibles.

(7) Given the potential that a new series of “Liberty” coins would be highly collectible, if produced, such a program would likely provide the means through which to significantly increase seigniorage thereby reducing budget deficits.

(8) A new “Liberty” themed coinage series would allow the Nation to continue to honor the past presidents currently depicted on United States coins by providing for the continued and concurrent production and distribution of such coins annually along with the new “Liberty” coins.

(9) A new “Liberty” themed coinage series would revitalize the design of United States coinage and return circulating coinage to its position as not only a necessary means of exchange in commerce but also as an object of aesthetic beauty and symbol of core American values.

(10) In order to increase the seigniorage produced by the United States Mint thereby reducing deficits to be financed by the United States it is appropriate to introduce a new series of circulating commemorative “Liberty” themed coins that would alternate annually between the dime and quarter dollar as 1-year issues. Additionally, introduction of a new “Liberty” themed half dollar produced for noncirculating numismatic purposes would further enhance seigniorage.

(11) Beginning in 2015, the Act provides for the introduction of a 1-year circulating commemorative “Liberty” themed dime that would be produced and distributed concurrently with the existing dime depicting the image of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After 2015, the image of President Roosevelt would continue to be utilized on the standard issue circulating dime. Subsequently, in 2016, the Act provides for the introduction of a 1-year circulating commemorative “Liberty” themed quarter dollar that would be produced and distributed concurrently with the existing quarter dollar depicting the image of President George Washington. The Washington design would continue to be used in future years. In 2017, the process would begin again with the introduction of a new 1-year “Liberty” themed dime, bearing a new “Liberty” design that would be co-issued alongside the regular issue Roosevelt Dime. In 2018, a new 1-year “Liberty” themed quarter would be co-issued and the process would continue on a perpetual basis into future years.

(12) Sequencing a new “Liberty” design each year is an important aspect of the program designed to continually renew collector interest and, therefore, promote demand for the coins in a manner to maximize seigniorage realized by the United States Mint.

(13) A “Liberty” themed program would also include a new “Liberty” half dollar bearing a design to be utilized for a 10-year term, to be issued as an ongoing annual noncirculating numismatic collector’s series. The “Liberty” half dollar would be issued along with the noncirculating Kennedy half dollar. At the end of each 10-year term, a new “Liberty” design would be implemented with designs continuing thereafter in a recurring 10-year cycle.

(14) Providing collectors with a new “Liberty” half dollar series will provide an increase in the Mint’s numismatic profits and bolster the objectives of the program to annually reduce budget deficits.

(15) A series of circulating commemorative “Liberty” themed coins will provide a new platform for the advancement of American medallic art through a medium where Americans commonly encounter public art—the Nation’s pocket change.

SEC. 3. American Liberty Coin Program.

(a) Program contingent on deficit reduction.—

(1) DETERMINATION.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall carry out a study on the estimated effect of the amendment made by subsection (b) on the Federal budget deficit over the 10-year period beginning on January 1, 2015.

(2) REPORT.—Not later than the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue a report to the Congress containing the estimate determined under paragraph (1) and an explanation of how such estimate was calculated.

(3) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendment made by subsection (b) shall take effect on the earlier of—

(A) the date that the report is issued under paragraph (2), if the Secretary determines in such report that the effect on the Federal budget deficit over the 10-year period beginning on January 1, 2015, will lead to a reduction in the deficit over such period of $100,000,000 or more; and

(B) the end of the 91-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, if the Secretary fails to make the report under paragraph (2) within the required 90-day period.

(b) Program.—Section 5112 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(w) Issuance of circulating dime and quarter dollar coins and numismatic half dollar coins commemorating and celebrating American liberty, ‘the Union’, and the American values and attributes of freedom, independence, civil governance, enlightenment, peace, strength, equality, democracy, and justice.—

“(1) DIME COINS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall mint and issue dime coins in calendar year 2015, and every second year thereafter, that—

“(i) have obverse designs that are emblematic and allegoric of the concept of ‘American Liberty’; and

“(ii) have reverse designs that—

“(I) depict an American bald eagle;

“(II) depict a fasces emblematic of civil governance;

“(III) depict the torch of knowledge;

“(IV) are emblematic and allegoric of ‘The Union’; or

“(V) depict one or more of the American values and attributes of freedom, independence, peace, strength, equality, democracy, and justice.

“(B) QUANTITY OF ISSUANCE.—With respect to a calendar year in which dime coins are issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall ensure that, of the total number of dime coins issued in such calendar year, not less than 40 percent and not more than 50 percent of such coins are made up of dime coins issued pursuant to subparagraph (A).

“(2) QUARTER DOLLAR COINS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall mint and issue quarter dollar coins in calendar year 2016, and every second year thereafter, that—

“(i) have obverse designs that are emblematic and allegoric of the concept of ‘American Liberty’; and

“(ii) have reverse designs that—

“(I) depict an American bald eagle;

“(II) depict a fasces emblematic of civil governance;

“(III) depict the torch of knowledge;

“(IV) are emblematic and allegoric of ‘The Union’; or

“(V) depict one or more of the American values and attributes of freedom, independence, peace, strength, equality, democracy, and justice.

“(B) QUANTITY OF ISSUANCE.—With respect to a calendar year in which quarter dollar coins are issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall ensure that, of the total number of quarter dollar coins issued in such calendar year, not less than 40 percent and not more than 50 percent of such coins are made up of quarter dollar coins issued pursuant to subparagraph (A).

“(3) HALF DOLLAR COINS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall mint and issue half dollar coins in calendar year 2015, and every year thereafter, with designs that shall be changed every 10 years, that—

“(i) have obverse designs that are emblematic and allegoric of the concept of ‘American Liberty’; and

“(ii) have reverse designs that—

“(I) depict an American bald eagle;

“(II) depict a fasces emblematic of civil governance;

“(III) depict the torch of knowledge;

“(IV) are emblematic and allegoric of ‘The Union’; or

“(V) depict one or more of the American values and attributes of freedom, independence, peace, strength, equality, democracy, and justice.

“(B) CONSIDERATION OF LIBERTY MINI DOLLAR.—The 1977 Liberty mini dollar design prepared by former United States Chief Sculptor and Engraver Frank Gasparro shall be considered along with other potential designs for half dollar coins issued under this paragraph.

“(C) QUANTITY OF ISSUANCE.—With respect to a calendar year, the Secretary shall ensure that, of the total number of half dollar coins issued in such calendar year, not less than 40 percent and not more than 50 percent of such coins are made up of half dollar coins issued pursuant to subparagraph (A).

“(4) DESIGN REQUIREMENTS.—The coins issued in accordance with paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) shall meet the following design requirements:

“(A) COIN OBVERSE.—The design on the obverse shall—

“(i) be chosen by the Secretary, after consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee;

“(ii) contain the inscriptions ‘Liberty’ and ‘In God We Trust’; and

“(iii) contain the inscription of the year of minting and issuance of the coin.

“(B) COIN REVERSE.—The design on the reverse shall—

“(i) be chosen by the Secretary, after consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee;

“(ii) contain the inscription ‘United States of America’ and ‘E Pluribus Unum’; and

“(iii) contain a designation of the value of the coin.

“(C) SELECTION AND APPROVAL PROCESS.—Designs for coins issued pursuant to this subsection may be submitted in accordance with the design selection and approval process developed by the Secretary in the sole discretion of the Secretary.

“(D) PARTICIPATION.—The Secretary may include participation by artists from the States and engravers of the United States Mint.

“(5) ISSUANCE OF NUMISMATIC COINS.—The Secretary may mint and issue such number of coins of each design selected under this subsection in uncirculated and proof qualities as the Secretary determines to be appropriate. To assure availability of dimes and quarter dollars minted and issued under this subsection in uncirculated qualities for numismatic purposes, a portion of any such coins shall be offered in rolls and bags at face value plus issuance costs.

“(6) SILVER COINS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding subsection (b), the Secretary may mint and issue such number of dimes, quarter dollar coins, and half dollar coins of each design selected under this subsection as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, with a content of .999 fine silver.

“(B) SOURCES OF BULLION.—The Secretary shall obtain silver for minting coins under this paragraph from available resources, including stockpiles established under the Strategic and Critical Materials Stock Piling Act.”.