Additional numismatic measures passed the 110th Congress just before it recessed for the election. Some are surprises and a few are on their way to becoming law once President Bush signs them.
H.R.4544 would require the issuance of medals to recognize the dedication and valor of Native American code talkers. It was sponsored by Rep. Dan Boren D-Okla., and had some 300 co-sponsors.
The bill was passed on the suspension calendar of the House of Representatives on Sept. 23, and would up in the Senate on Sept. 25. On Sept. 30, it passed the Senate by unanimous consent and on Oct. 6, it was presented to the President. His signature is expected.
Unlike prior legislation that honored the code talkers with a national medal, this honors the individuals and their tribes: (A) Assiniboine; (B) Chippewa and Oneida; (C) Choctaw; (D) Comanche; (E) Cree; (F) Crow; (G) Hopi; (H) Kiowa; (I) Menominee; (J) Mississauga; (K) Muscogee; (L) Sac and Fox; and (M) Sioux.
A Native American shall be eligible to be awarded a silver duplicate medal struck in recognition of the service of Native American code talkers of the recognized tribe of the Native American, if the Native American served in the Armed Forces as a code talker in any foreign conflict in which the United States was involved during the 20th century.
In 2001, the Congress and President Bush honored Navajo code talkers with congressional gold medals for the contributions of the code talkers to the United States Armed Forces as radio operators during World War II.
In the event of the death of a Native American code talker who had not been awarded a silver duplicate medal, the Treasury Secretary may award a silver duplicate medal to the next of kin or other personal representative of the Native American code talker.
The Mint is authorized to strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold medal struck 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 and silver medals.
Another bill, S.2579, introduced by Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, a World War II veteran, would require the secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the United States Army in 1775, to honor the American soldier.
Those honored would be the soldier "both today and yesterday, in wartime and in peace, and to commemorate the traditions, history, and heritage of the United States Army and its role in American society, from the Colonial period to today." It was introduced Jan 30, 2008, and has 83 co-sponsors. Its latest action: 10/3/2008 Held at the desk.
That's because H.R. 5714, a bill to similarly require the secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the United States Army in 1775 had 348 co-sponsors and passed the House October 3.
It calls for a copper-nickel half dollar, a silver dollar and $5 gold commemorative piece for year 2011. This measure goes to the Senate, which is in standby mode, unlike the House which had adjourned to next year.