Congressman Faleomavaega announced that on Tuesday, January 23, 2006 the House passed by voice vote without objection H.R. 392, the District of Columbia and United States Territories Circulating Quarter Dollar Program Act.
“I want to commend my colleague, Ms. Eleanor Holmes Norton, for introducing this bill in the House of Representatives to include Washington, D.C. and the Territories by amending the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act that was made law in 1997,” Faleomavaega said.
“I also want to commend both Chairman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Ranking Member Spencer Bachus of the Committee on Financial Services for their leadership and support. Also, I want to thank the gentleman from Delaware, Mr. Castle, for his unwavering support of this legislation. For many years he has worked tirelessly with the sponsors of this bill and I would be remiss if I did not thank the good gentleman for his commitment to pass this historic legislation.”
“This important piece of legislation has been an ongoing issue for the past four Congresses. All five congressional delegates are and were original cosponsors of this bipartisan measure. During the 107th Congress, we introduced H.R.4005, identical legislation that was unanimously passed by the House and was received in the Senate in 2002. In the 108th and 109th Congress, the same legislation was unanimously passed with bipartisan support by the House. Unfortunately, Congress adjourned before the Senate could consider these bills.”
“Even so, this legislation is important for the Territories and the District of Columbia. It is important that we acknowledge the contributions made by the some 5 million of our fellow Americans who live in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and our insular areas. There is no question about the commitment of these fellow Americans to our people of the United States and to the principles of democracy upon which this great country was founded. Our men and women have fought and sacrificed their lives in every major war and conflict in defense of these founding principles.”
“Speaking on behalf of American Samoa, we have the highest per capita for enlistment in the military than any other U.S. State or Territory. Also, per capita, American Samoa has suffered more casualties than any other U.S. State or Territory in our current fight against terrorism and I believe it is important that we acknowledge the relationship of American Samoa with the United States, which has now been in place for almost 107 years, with the issuance of a coin, and I am hopeful that the Senate will support our efforts,” Faleomavaega concluded.