H.R. 1243: To provide for the award of a gold medal on behalf of Congress to Arnold Palmer in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf

H.R. 1243

To provide for the award of a gold medal on behalf of Congress to Arnold Palmer in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf

Date
April 28, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.R. 1243 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage on Tuesday, April 28, 2009. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Baca (D-CA) on March 2, 2009. The bill was referred to the Committee on Financial Services, which has taken no official action.

Bill Summary

H.R. 1243 would require the Secretary of Treasury to design and produce a gold medal honoring golfer Arnold Palmer in recognition for his service in promoting "excellence and good sportsmanship." The bill would authorize the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate to make appropriate arrangements for the presentation of the medal to Mr. Palmer.

H.R. 1243 would also allow Treasury to strike and sell duplicate bronze medals. The legislation would authorize up to $30,000 from the U.S. Mint Public Enterprise Fund to fund the cost of the medals. Any sale of duplicates would be deposited back into the fund.

 

Background

According to CRS, the Congressional Gold Medal has been bestowed by Congress to honor roughly 300 different individuals since 1776. General George Washington was the first person to receive the Congressional Gold Medal in March of 1776 in recognition of his wise and spirited conduct during the siege of Boston. Most recently, a Congressional Gold Medal bill was given in honor of Native American code talkers during World War II.

CBO generally estimates that it costs between $30,000 and $35,000 to create a Gold Medal. According to Treasury, each Congressional Gold Medal contains 16 ounces of gold.  As of April 27. 2009, gold was trading for $907.10 an ounce. Assuming relatively comparable gold prices when the medal is produced, the medal authorized by H.R. 1243 would need approximately $14,513 worth of gold. Often, duplicate bronze medal sales are not enough to offset the cost of the gold medal. However, in some cases, sales of duplicate medals for very popular individuals offset their gold medal costs.

According to the bill's findings, Arnold Palmer is a world famous golfer, successful executive, prominent spokesman, devoted father and husband, and a man "with a common touch that has made him one of the most popular and accessible public figures in history." During his professional golf career, Palmer won 62 championships on the Professional Gold Association (PGA) Tour, including seven major tournaments. Palmer is active in numerous charities and still participates on the PGA Tour and was honored by the United States Golf Association (USGA) with the opening of the Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History on June 3, 2008.

 

Cost

A CBO score for H.R. 146 was not available at press time. However, the legislation would authorize $30,000 from the U.S. Mint Public Enterprise Fund to pay for the cost of creating the Congressional medal and duplicates.