Two separate bills have been introduced into the House of Representatives and the United States Senate calling for a commemorative coin to honor Harriet Tubman. Specifically, the two pieces of legislation call for a commemorative coin or coins to be released in 2022 to mark the bicentennial of Tubman’s birth on March 6, 1822.
Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.
In the House of Representatives, the bill is H.R. 1842 and it titled To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint commemorative coins in recognition of the Bicentennial of Harriet Tubman’s birth while the bill in the United States Senate, S. 697, carries the exact same title. In both cases, the exact text of the bills has not been published, likely due to a delay from the General Publishing Office (GPO) getting to them. Further, both bills have been introduced into their respective legislative bodies but no further actions have happened on them yet. That is not uncommon, especially given that the 117th Congress has been one of the most active in recent sessions in introducing legislation.
While it is certainly a positive sign that both the House and the Senate have introduced effectively the same bills for the commemorative, it is far from certain it will become law. The likely next step will be for the bills to be introduced into financial subcommittees to assess the financials of the proposed coins. This is a common practice. These bills are also just two of eight that were introduced in March 2021 alone, adding to the other numismatic related coinage legislation introduced earlier this year.
By using the links above, you can follow the details on the bills and USCoinNews.com will provide updates as they are available from Congress.