Text: H.R.2633 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)

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Introduced in House (07/09/2013)


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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2633 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2633

     To require the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the 
    Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the adoption of the Thirteenth 
 Amendment to the United States Constitution, which officially marked 
            the abolishment of slavery in the United States.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              July 9, 2013

Mr. Danny K. Davis of Illinois (for himself and Mr. Shimkus) introduced 
 the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial 
                                Services

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
     To require the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the 
    Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the adoption of the Thirteenth 
 Amendment to the United States Constitution, which officially marked 
            the abolishment of slavery 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 ``Thirteenth Amendment Commemorative 
Coin Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) The economic contributions of enslaved African 
        Americans to the American economy between 1691 and 1860 were 
        immeasurable. This labor force was used to build the 
        foundations upon which America stands today.
            (2) From the 16th through the 19th centuries, most colonial 
        economies in the Americas were dependent on human-trafficking 
        and the use of enslaved African labor for their survival. This 
        included the North American mercantile and shipping sectors 
        that were dependent on slave-produced cotton, rice, sugar and 
        indigo, and the profits derived from triangular trade with the 
        West Indies, Africa, and Europe.
            (3) Enslaved Africans in the United States were also 
        recognized as an important element in the political and 
        economic capital in the nation's political economy.
            (4) Over the course of 246 years, slaves contributed an 
        estimated 605 billion hours of forced free labor, the gain from 
        which provided ``seed capital'' for the American economy, 
        helped finance the birth of American finance and industrial 
        sectors, contributed to the growth of most of the ``Fortune 
        500'' companies, and ultimately assisted the nation in 
        financing both world wars.
            (5) During the Civil War, after Union forces repelled a 
        Confederate invasion at the battle of Antietam in 1862, 
        President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, 
        which declared that all slaves in states then in rebellion 
        would be ``forever free'' as of January 1, 1863. By his action, 
        Lincoln added a new and revolutionary dimension to the nation's 
        war aims: from being a conflict to preserve the Union, the 
        Civil War grew to be a crusade to end black slavery and fulfill 
        the promise of the Declaration of Independence.
            (6) In the spring of 1864, Charles Sumner introduced an 
        anti-slavery amendment in the Senate, much like the amendments 
        that were introduced in the House by Representatives James 
        Ashley and James Wilson in December of 1863, which declared all 
        persons as equal, prohibited the slavery, and granted Congress 
        the power to enforce these provisions. After extensive debate, 
        the 13th Amendment was formed from this proposal, with the 
        omission of the declaration of equality of all persons, and 
        passed the Senate on April 8, 1864, by a vote of 38-6.
            (7) Debates between abolitionists and supporters of slavery 
        focused on the moral issue of slavery and various 
        interpretations of ``natural law''. Representative John 
        Farnsworth of Illinois stated that ``the old fathers who made 
        the constitution believed that slavery was at war with the 
        rights of human nature'', and pointed out the contradiction 
        between the existence of inalienable rights and the institution 
        of slavery. Some members within the Republican Party, such as 
        Charles Sumner, sought an interpretation of the Constitution 
        that rejected slavery as incompatible with moral law.
            (8) President Lincoln took an active role in promoting the 
        13th Amendment in Congress. He ensured that the Republican 
        Party's 1864 election platform included a provision supporting 
        a constitutional amendment to ``terminate and forever prohibit 
        the existence of Slavery''. His efforts were met with success 
        when the House passed the bill on January 31, 1865, with a vote 
        of 119-56.
            (9) On February 1, 1865, Illinois became the first state to 
        ratify the proposed 13th Amendment; it was joined by 17 other 
        states by the end of the month. Georgia ratified on December 6, 
        1865, becoming the 27th of 36 states to approve the Amendment, 
        thus achieving the constitutional requirement that it be 
        ratified by three-fourths of the states. Secretary of State 
        William Seward declared the 13th Amendment to be part of the 
        Constitution on December 18.
            (10) The Smithsonian National Museum of African American 
        History and Culture (hereafter referred to in this section as 
        the ``NMAAHC'') was established by an Act of Congress in 2003, 
        in Public Law 108-184.
            (11) It is fitting that the NMAAHC receive the surcharges 
        from the sale of coins issued under this Act because the Museum 
        is devoted to the documentation of African American life, and, 
        among other areas, encompasses the period of slavery and the 
        era of Reconstruction.
            (12) The surcharge proceeds from the sale of a 
        commemorative coin, which would have no net cost to the 
        taxpayers, would raise valuable funding to supplement the 
        endowment and educational outreach funds of the NMAAHC.

SEC. 3. COIN SPECIFICATIONS.

    (a) Denominations.--The Secretary of the Treasury (hereafter in 
this Act referred to as the ``Secretary'') shall mint and issue the 
following coins in commemoration of the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of 
the passage of the 13th Amendment:
            (1) $50 bi-metallic platinum and gold coins.--Not more than 
        250,000 $50 coins, which shall--
                    (A) have a weight, diameter, and thickness 
                determined by the Secretary; and
                    (B) contain platinum and .9167 pure gold.
            (2) $20 gold coins.--Not more than 250,000 $20 coins, which 
        shall--
                    (A) weigh 33.931 grams;
                    (B) have a diameter of 32.7 millimeters; and
                    (C) contain .900 pure gold.
            (3) $1 silver coins.--Not more than 500,000 $1 coins, which 
        shall--
                    (A) weigh 31.103 grams;
                    (B) have a diameter of 40.6 millimeters; and
                    (C) contain .999 fine silver.
    (b) Legal Tender.--The coins minted under this Act shall be legal 
tender, as provided in section 5103 of title 31, United States Code.
    (c) Numismatic Items.--For the purposes of sections 5134 and 5136 
of title 31, United States Code, all coins minted under this Act shall 
be considered to be numismatic items.

SEC. 4. DESIGN OF COINS.

    (a) In General.--The design of the coins minted under this Act 
shall be emblematic of the Thirteenth Amendment and the abolishment of 
slavery in America.
    (b) Designation and Inscriptions.--On each coin minted under this 
Act there shall be--
            (1) a designation of the value of the coin;
            (2) an inscription of the year ``1865-2015''; and
            (3) inscriptions of the words ``Liberty'', ``In God We 
        Trust'', ``United States of America'', and ``E Pluribus Unum''.
    (c) Selection.--The design for the coins minted under this Act--
            (1) shall be based on the economic contributions of 
        slavery, and include images of the pathway from slavery to 
        freedom;
            (2) may include, on the $20 coins, that the design elements 
        be in high relief;
            (3) may include, on the $50 coins--
                    (A) on the obverse, an illustration of Columbia or 
                similar figure representing Liberty, the female 
                representation of America; and
                    (B) on the reverse, a single eagle, and a set of 
                stars on one or both sides;
            (4) shall be selected by the Secretary after consultation 
        with the Commission of Fine Arts; and
            (5) shall be reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory 
        Committee.

SEC. 5. ISSUANCE OF COINS.

    (a) Quality of Coins.--Coins minted under this Act shall be issued 
in uncirculated and proof qualities.
    (b) Period of Issuance.--The Secretary may issue coins minted under 
this Act only during the calendar year beginning January 1, 2016, 
except that the Secretary may initiate sales of such coins, without 
issuance, before such date.
    (c) Minting in 2016.--Notwithstanding section 5112(d)(1) of title 
31, United States Code, the Secretary may continue to mint the coins 
under this Act in the year 2016.

SEC. 6. SALE OF COINS.

    (a) Sales Price.--The coins issued under this Act shall be sold by 
the Secretary at a price equal to the sum of--
            (1) the face value of the coins;
            (2) the surcharge required under section 7(a) with respect 
        to such coins; and
            (3) the cost of designing and issuing such coins (including 
        labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, 
        marketing, and shipping).
    (b) Bulk Sales.--The Secretary shall make bulk sales of the coins 
issued under this Act at a reasonable discount.
    (c) Prepaid Orders at a Discount.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall accept prepaid orders 
        for the coins minted under this Act before the issuance of such 
        coins.
            (2) Discount.--Sales prices with respect to prepaid orders 
        under paragraph (1) shall be at a reasonable discount.

SEC. 7. SURCHARGES.

    (a) Surcharge Required.--All sales of coins under this Act shall 
include a surcharge of $10 per coin.
    (b) Distribution.--Subject to section 5134(f) of title 31, United 
States Code, all surcharges received by the Secretary from the sale of 
coins issued under this Act shall be promptly paid by the Secretary to 
the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture 
to carry out the purposes of the museum, which goes beyond simply 
telling the history of African Americans, creating an opportunity for 
anyone who cares about African American Culture a place to explore, 
learn, and revel in the rich history of African American Culture.
    (c) Audits.--The Smithsonian National Museum of African American 
History and Culture shall be subject to the audit requirements of 
section 5134(f)(2) of title 31, United States Code, with regard to the 
amounts received under subsection (b).
    (d) Limitation.--Notwithstanding subsection (a), no surcharge may 
be included with respect to the issuance under this Act of any coin 
during a calendar year if, as of the time of such issuance, the 
issuance of such coin would result in the number of commemorative coin 
programs issued during such year to exceed the annual 2 commemorative 
coin program issuance limitation under section 5112(m)(1) of title 31, 
United States Code. The Secretary of the Treasury may issue guidance to 
carry out this subsection.

SEC. 8. FINANCIAL ASSURANCES.

    The Secretary shall take such actions as may be necessary to ensure 
that--
            (1) minting and issuing coins under this Act will not 
        result in any net cost to the United States Government; and
            (2) no funds, including applicable surcharges, are 
        disbursed to any recipient designated in section 7 until the 
        total cost of designing and issuing all of the coins authorized 
        by this Act is recovered by the United States Treasury, 
        consistent with sections 5112(m) and 5134(f) of title 31, 
        United States Code.
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