IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 8, 2023
Mr. Budd (for himself, Mr. Kelly, Mr. Tillis, and Ms. Duckworth) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the invaluable service that working dogs provide to society.
This Act may be cited as the
Working Dog Commemorative Coin Act.
Congress finds the following:
Dogs going back thousands of years have been tied to humans whether for protection, companionship, or assisting in daily activities.
The United States had an unofficial canine military presence assisting soldiers in the Civil War and World War I, but military K–9s did not become officially recognized until March 13, 1942. During the height of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States military employed approximately 2,500 K–9s.
Military K–9s have seen service in every major United States combat since World War I and have been praised by military leadership as an indispensable asset for military, police, government, and private security teams around the world.
In 2000, section 2583 of title 10, United States Code (commonly known as
Robby’s Law), was enacted, which allowed for the adoption of military K–9s by law enforcement agencies, former handlers, and other care groups.
Since 2000, military K–9s have left service and gone onto work explosive detection for police forces and work as service dogs for veterans and families.
Beyond their military working capacity, working dogs provide enhanced mobility assistance and renewed independence for the injured and disabled. Service dogs are able to support veterans struggling after war, hear for those who are deaf, see for those who are blind, and even sense changes in a person’s body before a seizure. Working dogs play a vital role in improving the lives of many.
The service dog programs of America’s VetDogs were created to provide enhanced mobility and renewed independence to United States veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities.
America’s VetDogs provides—
guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision;
hearing dogs for those who have lost their hearing later in life by alerting to alarms, door bells, sirens, and more;
service dogs for those with other physical disabilities that are specially trained to provide balance, retrieve dropped items, open and close doors, turn on and off lights, carry a backpack, and more;
facility dogs that are specially trained to spend time working with wounded veterans recovering at military hospitals and veterans medical centers;
dogs that work with physical and occupational therapists as they treat soldiers and become an essential part of the healing process; and
posttraumatic stress disorder service dogs that are trained to help mitigate the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder by providing the emotional and physical support a veteran may need.
In commemoration of the invaluable service that working dogs provide to society, the Secretary of the Treasury (hereafter referred to in this Act as the
Secretary) shall mint and issue the following coins:
$5 gold coins
Not more than 50,000 $5 coins, which shall—
weigh 8.359 grams;
have a diameter of 0.850 inches; and
contain 90 percent gold.
$1 silver coins
Not more than 500,000 $1 coins, which shall—
weigh 26.73 grams;
have a diameter of 1.500 inches; and
contain not less than 90 percent silver.
Half-dollar clad coins
Not more than 750,000 half-dollar coins which shall—
weigh 11.34 grams;
have a diameter of 1.205 inches; and
be minted to the specifications for half-dollar coins contained in section 5112(b) of title 31, United States Code.
The coins minted under this Act shall be legal tender, as provided in section 5103 of title 31, United States Code.
For purposes of sections 5134 and 5136 of title 31, United States Code, all coins minted under this Act shall be considered to be numismatic items.
Designs of coins
The designs of the coins minted under this Act shall be emblematic of the vast contributions that working dogs serve in society to include the range of services that the dogs provide in detection, military service, therapy, and assistance.
Designations and inscriptions
On each coin minted under this Act, there shall be—
a designation of the value of the coin;
an inscription of the year
inscriptions of the words
In God We Trust,
United States of America, and
E Pluribus Unum.
The designs for the coins minted under this Act shall be—
selected by the Secretary, after consultation with America’s VetDogs and the Commission of Fine Arts; and
reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
Issuance of coins
Quality of coins
Coins minted under this Act shall be issued in uncirculated and proof qualities.
Only 1 facility of the United States Mint may be used to strike any particular quality of the coins minted under this Act.
Period for issuance
The Secretary may issue coins minted under this Act only during the 1-year period beginning on January 1, 2025.
Sale of coins
The coins issued under this Act shall be sold by the Secretary at a price equal to the sum of—
the face value of the coins;
the surcharge provided in section 7(a) with respect to such coins; and
the cost of designing and issuing the coins (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping).
The Secretary shall make bulk sales of the coins issued under this Act at a reasonable discount.
The Secretary shall accept prepaid orders for the coins minted under this Act before the issuance of such coins.
Sale prices with respect to prepaid orders under paragraph (1) shall be at a reasonable discount.
All sales of coins issued under this Act shall include a surcharge of—
$35 per coin for the $5 coins;
$10 per coin for the $1 coins; and
$5 per coin for the half-dollar coins.
Subject to section 5134(f) of title 31, United States Code, all surcharges received by the Secretary from the sale of coins issued under this Act shall be promptly paid by the Secretary to America’s VetDogs for general expenses associated with the fulfillment of the mission of America’s VetDogs, including for costs associated with—
personnel related to training, dog care, and consumer needs;
consultants to facilitate the training of America’s VetDogs certified service dog instructors; and
travel, room, and board for clients served by America’s VetDogs.
America's VetDogs shall be subject to the audit requirements of section 5134(f)(2) of title 31, United States Code, with regard to the amounts received under subsection (b).
Notwithstanding subsection (a), no surcharge may be included with respect to the issuance under this Act of any coin during a calendar year if, as of the time of such issuance, the issuance of such coin would result in the number of commemorative coin programs issued during such year to exceed the annual 2 commemorative coin program issuance limitation under section 5112(m)(1) of title 31, United States Code (as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act). The Secretary may issue guidance to carry out this subsection.
The Secretary shall take such actions as may be necessary to ensure that—
minting and issuing coins under this Act will not result in any net cost to the United States Government; and
no funds, including applicable surcharges, are disbursed to any recipient designated in section 7 until the total cost of designing and issuing all of the coins authorized by this Act (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping) is recovered by the United States Treasury, consistent with sections 5112(m) and 5134(f) of title 31, United States Code.