Text: H.R.1003 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/06/2019)

1st Session
H. R. 1003

To posthumously award a Congressional Gold Medal to Aretha Franklin in recognition of her contributions of outstanding artistic and historical significance to culture in the United States.


February 6, 2019

Mrs. Lawrence (for herself, Mr. Collins of Georgia, Ms. Waters, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Soto, Mr. Higgins of New York, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Mr. McNerney, Ms. Kuster of New Hampshire, Mr. Horsford, Ms. Spanberger, Ms. Blunt Rochester, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. Sires, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Mr. Hastings, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, Mr. McGovern, Mrs. Dingell, Mr. Espaillat, Ms. Plaskett, Mr. Lowenthal, Mrs. Hayes, Mr. Ruppersberger, Ms. Tlaib, Ms. Slotkin, Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Mr. Collins of New York, Mr. Peterson, Ms. Bass, Mr. Lawson of Florida, Mr. Evans, Mr. Cole, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Mrs. Demings, Mr. Moolenaar, Mr. Engel, Mr. Nadler, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Schiff, Ms. Norton, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Mr. David Scott of Georgia, Mr. Meeks, Mr. Serrano, Mrs. Beatty, Ms. Fudge, Mr. Green of Texas, Mr. Veasey, Ms. Moore, and Ms. Clarke of New York) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on House Administration, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To posthumously award a Congressional Gold Medal to Aretha Franklin in recognition of her contributions of outstanding artistic and historical significance to culture in the United States.

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 “Aretha Franklin Congressional Gold Medal Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

The Congress finds the following:

(1) Aretha Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, and died peacefully at her home in Detroit, Michigan, surrounded by family and loved ones on August 16, 2018.

(2) Aretha Franklin’s musical talents have influenced generations of musicians and political leaders, creating a legacy that spans an incredible 6 decades.

(3) Aretha Franklin, dubbed the “Queen of Soul”, was the first woman ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was a 2005 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and was a 1999 recipient of the National Medal of Arts and Humanities Award, among other accolades.

(4) Aretha Franklin’s music served as a 1960s call to action that inspired thousands to join civil rights movements and still resonates across these movements today.

(5) Aretha Franklin’s contributions go beyond music and arts.

(6) Aretha Franklin was also a philanthropist who supported causes that advanced civil rights, human health, and gender equality.

(7) Aretha Franklin’s talents instilled hope, uplifted generations, and changed the lives of millions of people across the globe.

(8) The City of Detroit shaped Aretha’s life and music, as her father and church introduced her to local Motown artists.

(9) In return, Aretha made countless contributions to the City of Detroit, and few people have played a greater role in shaping the Nation’s culturally and socially relevant discography than Aretha Franklin.

SEC. 3. Congressional Gold Medal.

(a) Presentation authorized.—The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate shall make appropriate arrangements for the posthumous presentation, on behalf of Congress, of a gold medal of appropriate design in commemoration of Aretha Franklin, in recognition of her outstanding artistic and historical significance to the culture of the United States.

(b) Design and striking.—For purposes of the presentation referred to in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury (hereafter in this Act referred to as the “Secretary”) shall strike a gold medal with suitable emblems, devices, and inscriptions, to be determined by the Secretary.

(c) Smithsonian Institution.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Following the award of the gold medal referred to in subsection (a), the gold medal shall be given to the Smithsonian Institution, where it will be displayed as appropriate and made available for research.

(2) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that the Smithsonian Institution should make the gold medal received under this Act available for display elsewhere, particularly at other locations and events associated with Aretha Franklin.

SEC. 4. Duplicate medals.

The Secretary may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold medal struck pursuant to section 3 under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, at a price sufficient to cover the cost thereof, including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and overhead expenses, and the cost of the gold medal.

SEC. 5. Status of medals.

(a) National medals.—The medals struck pursuant to this Act are national medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code.

(b) Numismatic items.—For purposes of section 5134 of title 31, United States Code, all medals struck under this Act shall be considered to be numismatic items.