The Senate on Wednesday approved by voice vote legislation that would have the U.S. Treasury mint commemorative coins to recognize innovation across the United States.
The bill, which is the brainchild of Senator Chris Murphy and Representative Jim Himes, now returns to the House for final approval where an earlier version passed the House in January by voice vote.
“Our country was built on innovation and entrepreneurship, and what better way to celebrate it than through a program that creates jobs and reduces the national debt,” Murphy said. “I’m proud to have worked with Congressman Himes to advance our bipartisan legislation, and I’ll be working with him to get it to President Trump’s desk as soon as possible.”
“It is right that, in some small way, we honor those innovations and those innovators who help our economy grow, give us competitive advantage, and make us all proud to be part of the United States of America,” said Himes, when he introduced the bill earlier this year.
Similar to 50 State Quarters Program, the Treasury would design and mint coins commemorating either an innovation, an individual innovator, or a group of innovators from each state, territory and the District of Columbia. Four coins would be minted each year based on entry into the union. The number of coins minted would be determined by the Treasury Secretary based on likely sales.
Himes said that the $1 coins would sell for more than face value — up to $1.32 — providing a healthy profit for the federal government since the coins cost less than 35 cents to make.
Murphy said the bill would benefit MBI Inc., of Norwalk, which markets commemorative coins.