Today, Delaware Congressman Mike Castle attended a House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy Hearing to examine the state of U.S. coins and currency. Rep. Castle, a senior Member of the Committee, and author of legislation that implemented the 50 State Quarters Program and the America the Beautiful Quarters Program also welcomed Michael B. Clark, President of Diamond State Depository from Wilmington, Delaware, who testified about the rise of counterfeit coins and the need for consumer protections to combat this issue as well as issues in the bullion coin market.
"Each year, the U.S. Mint receives more that $1 billion in annual revenues and returns funds beyond its operating expenses to the General Fund of the Treasury, helping to reduce the national debt," said Rep. Castle. "I am pleased to have lent my support to many important coin programs that are also helping to drive down our nation's debt, including the 50 State Quarters Program, which has brought in $8.6 billion in revenue since its inception - $3 billion more than regular quarters during the same time period - and the America the Beautiful Quarters Program."
Rep. Castle continued, "Additionally, I agree with Mr. Clark's concerns with counterfeit coins which pose a significant financial threat to American consumers and hope that Congress can look at ways to mitigate financial harm to the American public by putting measures in place to address counterfeiting and the impact on U.S. markets."
Rep. Castle authored the America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act, to create the America the Beautiful Quarters Program to celebrate the natural wonders found in the United States' national parks, forests, shores, and other national sites. Delaware, still lacking a National Park, will have a quarter featuring Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, which will be released in 2015.
Rep. Castle also spearheaded Congressional efforts to implement the widely successful 50 State Quarters Program, which took place between 1999 and 2008 and honored the 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The 50 State Quarters Program generated $8.6 billion in revenue, including $6.3 billion in seigniorage to help reduce the national debt.