Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the Territorial Delegates have joined with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton to reintroduce a bill that will grant circulating quarter dollars to commemorate American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands.
“Essentially, this legislation will amend the popular 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act to include six new designs representative of the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands. The coins will be issued in 2009 and their respective designs will be issued by the Secretary of Treasury in consultation with the chief executive officers of these areas,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
All five of the delegates are and were original co-sponsors to this bi-partisan measure. The measure was originally introduced in the 106th, 107th and 108th Congresses and easily passed through the House on each occasion. But, in each instance, the Senate was unable to take up the matter before Congress adjourned.
“Pleased by the support we have seen for this legislation by the House, we have introduced H.R. 3885 and are hopeful that the House and Senate will pass this legislation before the 109th Congress adjourns,” Faleomavaega said. “H.R. 3885 is an appropriate way for Congress to acknowledge the historic relationship between the Territories and the United States.”
“American Samoa has a long record of supporting the United States, specifically in relation to military service. American Samoa has an enlistment rate which is as high per capita to that of any other State of U.S. Territory. Our sons and daughters have served proudly in every U.S. military engagement from WWII to the current operations in Iraq. Our territory has also served the U.S. military as a fueling station for naval ships and military aircraft and in WWII it served as a support base for U.S. soldiers.”
“At this time, I would like to thank my colleagues for their commitment to this effort. I especially want to thank Congresswoman Norton for her leadership. Together, we remain hopeful that Congress will take this opportunity to recognize the contributions that the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Marianas have made to our Nation and, together, we urge Congress to support our cause,” Congressman Faleomavaega concluded.