Who says your Congress doesn’t legislate solutions to the tough problems of our times?
In addition to... well, the other important things they did this week, Congress debated and passed legislation allowing a commemorative coin to be a few thousandths of an inch smaller than it was supposed to be by law.
Clearly, we can all rest a little easier now.
The problem necessitating the bold legislative action happened when the U.S. Mint started making commemorative coins marking the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 75th anniversary next year. The bill Congress adopted specifying the design for the coin (another example of your Congress at work!) called for it to be in a dome shape, imprinted with stitches to make it look like a baseball.
But the Mint found that bending coins into that dome shape drew their sides in, making the finished product just a fraction of a fraction of an inch smaller than the size Congress had stipulated.
This required either a technical solution (i.e., new, expensive equipment) or a legislative one (probably cheaper, since lawmakers and their staff are already on the public dime, and they had some time this week).
The result: a two-line amendment, “the most technical sort,” according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.).
But of course, lawmakers used the moment to heap praise on the Baseball Hall of Fame, their hometown teams, and the sport generally.
Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) noted that one of the Hall of Fame’s most popular exhibits is about color-barrier-breaking legend Jackie Robinson. Robinson “served as an inspiration to so many of us in generations to come,” she enthused.
Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) even got a bit poetic: “Baseball, America’s pastime, is something that unites us, and I think also something that engenders hope throughout the country, the feeling that we all have in April, the possibility that our team could go all the way and win the World Series. Something, indeed, that unites us.”
At least the bill passed on a bipartisan basis.