09.23.20

Lee, Gonzalez, Cortez Masto, Fischer, Watson Coleman Applaud Passage of Coin Redesign Act Celebrating Prominent American Women and Others

Washington, D.C. – Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) today joined Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) in applauding the House passage of their bipartisan legislation, the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020.  

H.R. 1923, the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 allows the Department of the Treasury and U.S. Mint to mint and issue quarter-dollar coins. The first series of quarters in this program commemorates the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment grating some women the right to vote. The design on the reverse of those quarters will represent prominent American women in a range of fields, including but not limited to suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, and humanities. This series will also include women from ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse backgrounds.

The 114th Congress created a United States Semiquincentennial Commission to facilitate activities in 2026 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States. This bill allows for the issuance of five different designs emblematic of the United States’ Semiquincentennial, including one dedicated to the contributions made by women to our nation’s founding or a monumental moment in American History. 

Coins will also be issued to commemorate sports played by American youth, including a coin emblematic of sports played by athletes in the Paralympics. 

“Women have played a critical role in shaping this country since its founding but have often been excluded or gone unrecognized. This bill is an important step in recognizing the contributions women have made in furthering civil rights and making our country a more equitable place. This bill’s passage also coincides with the centennial of the 19th Amendment which gave some women the right to vote,” said Congresswoman Lee. “When women gathered in Seneca Falls in July 1848, it was to give white women the right to vote – no Black women were invited to participate. As we commemorate women’s suffrage and celebrate the first series of coins in the package to depict prominent American women, it is also my hope that that diverse American women will be chosen and depicted, celebrating our nation’s leaders, thinkers, and innovators.”   

“Some of the greatest and most influential figures in our nation’s history have been women, although these voices and stories have too often gone untold. As we reach the centennial of the 19th Amendment, it is fitting that we take this opportunity to highlight the role women have played in shaping our great nation and ensure their inclusion in the fabric of our nation’s story,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “I am pleased to see this legislation pass the House of Representatives and look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure it is signed into law.”

“I’m proud to see this legislation honoring the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and recognizing the many American women who have contributed to the fight for suffrage and civil rights, science, government, and the arts pass the House of Representatives,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “While our nation still has steps to take in honoring the right to vote for women of color, the 19th Amendment has firmly established every woman’s right to vote for the last 100 years and has brought women into the halls of power across our country. And by ensuring that prominent women are featured in the U.S. Mint’s Semiquincentennial, we are recognizing our history and inspiring future generations of young women to dream big. From business boardrooms to research labs to state legislatures, like Nevada’s first majority-women legislature, this bill recognizes the decades of contributions women have made and will make to our shared history.”

“I am proud that this bipartisan legislation has passed the House,” said Senator Fischer. “Women heroes and trailblazers have shaped our nation’s history, from its founding to the suffrage movement to the fight for civil rights. Coins emblematic of their invaluable contributions will honor their memory as we continue to work toward equality for all." 

“As a member of the U.S. Semiquinentennial Commission, I am thrilled to see us take steps to prepare for the celebration of our 250th Independence Day and especially excited to ensure that celebration includes not just the founding fathers we so often think of, but more diverse contributions made to our nation’s founding. The inclusion of women is vital, and so it is fitting that we make sure a woman is included on the coins we’ll circulate to mark the occasion,” said Congresswoman Watson Coleman. “For so long, we’ve allowed a pervasive narrative that women, Black, indigenous and other people of color are new to leading. The truth is, we’ve been doing it since the dawn of time, but with little recognition. With measures like these we pay a small amount of what’s due and inspire everyone to dream big.”

"As we commemorate the Suffrage Centennial in 2020 and the 250th anniversary of our country’s founding in 2026, I can’t think of a better way of righting our history than to include historical American women,” said Rosie Rios, 43rd Treasurer of the United States. “I would like to thank Congresswoman Barbara Lee and her office for taking a leadership role in partnering to craft this legislation and continue the journey of having women represented on our currency and coins, something that is used every day around the world. By seeing ourselves honored and valued in our history, our daughters and sons can be inspired to also see their own future."

This bill will include the following package of coins:  

  • From 2022-2025, up to 5 quarters annually depicting prominent American women;  
  • In 2026, up to 5 quarters commemorating the US Semiquincentennial (250th) anniversary, including one quarter featuring a prominent American woman, and a $1 dollar coin;  
  • From 2027-2030, a series of 5 quarters annually honoring American youth sports and a half-dollar design depicting a sport in the Paralympics.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women’s constitutional right to vote. 68 million women can vote today because of the work of the women’s suffrage movement and this bill honors these efforts.