Washington, D.C. - Rep. Baird spoke on the House floor last week in support of a commemorative nickel celebrating the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark's historic expedition.

House Resolution 258, The American 5-Cent Coin Design Continuity Act of 2003 allows the Secretary of the Treasury to alter the nickel's design for coins issued in 2003, 2004 and 2005 during the bicentennial celebration period.

Coins issued after December 31, 2005 will revert to images of Thomas Jefferson and Monticello, similar to nickels currently in circulation.

"This is a unique opportunity to commemorate a landmark period in our nation's history," said Baird. "The Lewis and Clark nickel will encourage people to learn more about the expedition and visit the areas they explored, especially sites in Southwest Washington. I look forward to seeing the final coin design and its circulation."

H.R. 258 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 412 members in favor and five opposed.

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