H.R. 2722, Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act, as amended

H.R. 2722

Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act, as amended

Sponsor
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney

Date
July 15, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
John Huston

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, the House passed H.R. 2722, the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act, as amended, under suspension of the rules, by a vote of 421 to 9.  The bill was introduced on June 10, 2015, by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and was referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition, to the Committee on the Budget.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2722 directs the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue coins “emblematic of the fight against breast cancer.” The bill specifies size, weight, and content requirements, and authorizes the minting of up to 50,000 $5 gold coins (must be made of “pink gold,” which contains at least 75 percent gold), up to 400,000 $1 silver coins (must contain at least 90 percent silver), and up to 750,000 half-dollar coins. The coins will be issued as legal tender during calendar year 2018. The gold, silver, and half-dollar coins are to be sold with surcharges of $35, $10, and $5, respectively.

The bill stipulates that the design of the coins will be selected based on a juried, compensated competition. The competition shall be judged by an expert panel chaired by the Secretary and consisting of 3 members from the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and 3 members from the Commission of Fine Arts.

The bill requires the Secretary to ensure that minting and issuing these coins will not result in any net cost to the United States. After the U.S. Treasury recovers any costs associated with production of the coins, the Secretary will  distribute all additional revenue from surcharges to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, to be used for breast cancer research.

Background

According to the bill sponsor, “It is estimated that over 231,000 new cases of breast cancer will occur in the U.S. in 2015, and tragically 40,000 women will die from it . . . Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, and the only way for us to eradicate it is through research to find a cure and increased awareness and screenings. There are only a handful of ways Congress can raise money to assist this fight at no cost to taxpayers and creating a commemorative coin is one. If we pass this bill, we can provide millions of dollars to raise awareness and accelerate research.”[1]

Since its founding in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) has raised more than half a billion dollars for lifesaving research. In 2014 and 2015, BCRF will award $47 million in annual grants to over 235 scientists from top universities and medical institutions around the globe. In addition, $11.6 million has been committed to the international Founder’s Fund project focused on metastasis.[2]

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[1] See Press Release, “Congresswoman Maloney and Congressman Sessions unveil plan to raise millions for the fight against breast cancer,” June 10, 2015.
[2] See Breast Cancer Research Foundation, “About BCRF”

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is currently unavailable, but the bill is not expected to have a significant effect on direct spending.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.