Legislation to create at least 56 newly designed quarters over a ten-year period is now a presidential signature away from law. America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act (H.R.6184) passed in the House of Representatives July 9, 2008 and unexpectedly made its way through the lame duck session of the Senate on Wednesday.
It is all too common for legislation to take months and sometimes years to pass. Hope for 2008 action on H.R.6184 dwindled further as the political season approached and the resulting lame duck members of congress returned to Washington D.C. to close out the year. Few would have expected its Senate passage by Unanimous Consent this year.
President Bush will likely sign the bill into law within ten days. With that, commemorative national park or site quarters at the rate of five different designs per year for each state, D.C. and U.S. Territory will be issued beginning in 2010. The legislation authorizes a second round of quarters at the discretion of the Treasury Secretary, which could push the series into 2020.
Continue reading National Park Quarters legislation passes Senate
Last week another commemorative national park quarters bill called S.3290 was brought before the Senate. It reads almost exactly like the first one (S.3214) that was introduced less than a month earlier.
The new one has some extra phrases that clarify certain sections in the bill, but most of the changes are barely noticeable. The purpose is the same — to create commemorative national park or site quarters in each state, D.C. and U.S. Territory starting in 2010.
The silver bullion coin section — the portion that permits a collector version of park quarters — does stands out. The older legislation has the silver weight at 5 ounces with a diameter of 3 inches — that is unique by itself for US coinage. (US bullion coins have been one ounce at most.) The newest proposal has increased the weight to a much larger 8 ounces. More on this in an upcoming post.
It’s hard to say why the old bill wasn’t updated. It was already very similar to the House of Representatives version (H.R.6184) that passed on July 9.
S.3290 does show continuing support for park quarters in the Senate and stronger evidence a quarter bill will become law.
Continue reading New National Parks Quarter bill in Senate
The National Parks Quarter bill first appeared in the House of Representatives when Rep. Mike Castle introduced it on June 4, 2008. On June 26, Senator John Barrasso brought a similar measure (S.3214) before the Senate, showing his support for park and site coins.
When the House unanimously passed their bill (H.R.6184) July 9, Barrasso voiced his continuing support and said the first coin will depict Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park.
"As the nation’s first national park, it is only fitting that Yellowstone, as a part of Wyoming ‘s unique heritage, is commemorated on the first quarter," Barrasso said. "I believe these coins will increase awareness and promote efforts to preserve America ‘s national treasures for generations to come."
"Millions of people experience the pristine wilderness and rugged beauty of areas like Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Tetons, and Devil’s Tower National Monument every year. The people of Wyoming are rightly proud of the many places that display our state’s unique heritage and natural beauty."
Now Barrasso must get his Senate colleagues to pass the bill!
The National Park Quarter bill will create at least 56 newly designed quarters over a ten-year period for national parks and sites in each state, D.C. and U.S. Territory. The bill (H.R.6184) passed in the U.S. House on July 9, 2008 opening the door for its next steps.
The Senate must now consider and pass it.
In a supportive move, Senator John Barrasso introduced an identical vesion (S.3214) on June 26, 2008. This version or that of the House will eventually get scheduled for a Senate up or down vote. (There is a chance both bills will die in silence in some committee forever. An article by an online news site for coin collectors suggests the odds are small.)
There are, of course, no guarantees the bill becomes law. However, while some collectors dislike the idea of another new quarter series, their disdain hasn’t been similarly voiced by members of congress.
After Senate passage by vote, any differences between the House and Senate versions will need to be reconciled, voted on again and then a final version sent to the President for signing. Once signed, the bill becomes law.