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No New Cents Yet
May 07, 2008

Copper-coated steel cents may be in our future, but not yet. A legislative tussle between the Congress and the administration branch of government continues.

The House of Representatives failed to pass a bill overnight that would have authorized the new composition. It could pass later, or it could be permanently stalled.

The underlying issue is who has the authority to change coinage compositions. The Constitution says Congress does. The Treasury says the Congress can delegate it to the Treasury secretary.

So rather than have a simple piece of legislation calling for copper-coated steel cents that all parties seem to have agreed on or at least acquiesced in, the legislation pushes powers buttons that arrays all party political forces into confrontation.

The result so far for those of us who simply are on the outside looking in is abolutely nothing.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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