Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the representatives for the U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia reintroduced the same bill that they have proposed over the past eight years to provide for the circulation of a quarter dollar coin program to honor American Samoa, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Language included in the bill calls for the design for each of the commemorative quarter dollars to be emblematic of each of the respective areas and be approved by the Secretary after consultation with the local leaders.
“Introduced initially during the 106th Congress, the House overwhelmingly passed our resolution by a vote of 377-6,” Faleomavaega said. “Unfortunately, the 106th Congress ended before the Senate could consider our bill. The same legislation was reintroduced and passed with the same strong by-partisan support of the House during the 107th Congress. But once again, the 107th Congress ended before the Senate was able to consider our bill.”
“In the 108th and 109th Congresses, we continued our efforts and are now very hopeful that our bill will get through both the House and Senate now that the Democrats are in control. We feel strongly that it is only fitting for Congress to acknowledge the contributions of the Territories and District of Columbia with a commemorative coin as has been done for the 50 States.”
“There is no question about the commitment of our people to the United States and the principles of democracy upon which our great nation is founded. Our men and women have fought and sacrificed their lives in every major war and conflict in defense of those principles.”
“American Samoa, for example, has a per capita enlistment rate in the U.S. military that rivals that of any State or U.S. Territory. Also, per capita, American Samoa has suffered more casualties during the war on terror.”
“I am thankful for the leadership of my colleague, Congresswoman Eleanor Norton, who is leading our efforts on this issue and I also thank my colleagues from the insular areas. I continue to be very hopeful that this legislation will be passed by the 110th Congress and I look forward to working with our friends in the House and Senate to make sure that this historic legislation becomes a reality,” Faleomavaega concluded.