Legislation to create circulating commemorative quarters for the District of Columbia and the territories passed the House of Representatives in the 106th, 107th, 108th, 109th, and 110th Congresses (most recently HR 110-392), but was never ratified by the Senate. However, that finally changed in 2007 when the legislation was attached as an amendment to HR 2764, a huge spending bill. On 26 December 2007, this bill, "Making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes," became Public Law 110-161. The part relating to quarters, reprinted below, is Section 622 of Title VI of Division D of the law.
SEC. 622. Section 5112 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
`(r) Redesign and Issuance of Circulating Quarter Dollar Honoring the District of Columbia and Each of the Territories-
`(A) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding the fourth sentence of subsection (d)(1) and subsection (d)(2) and subject to paragraph (6)(B), quarter dollar coins issued during 2009, shall have designs on the reverse side selected in accordance with this subsection which are emblematic of the District of Columbia and the territories.
`(B) FLEXIBILITY WITH REGARD TO PLACEMENT OF INSCRIPTIONS- Notwithstanding subsection (d)(1), the Secretary may select a design for quarter dollars issued during 2009 in which--
`(i) the inscription described in the second sentence of subsection (d)(1) appears on the reverse side of any such quarter dollars; and
`(ii) any inscription described in the third sentence of subsection (d)(1) or the designation of the value of the coin appears on the obverse side of any such quarter dollars.
`(2) SINGLE DISTRICT OR TERRITORY DESIGN- The design on the reverse side of each quarter dollar issued during 2009 shall be emblematic of one of the following: The District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
`(3) SELECTION OF DESIGN-
`(A) IN GENERAL- Each of the 6 designs required under this subsection for quarter dollars shall be--
`(i) selected by the Secretary after consultation with--
`(I) the chief executive of the District of Columbia or the territory being honored, or such other officials or group as the chief executive officer of the District of Columbia or the territory may designate for such purpose; and
`(II) the Commission of Fine Arts; and
`(ii) reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
`(B) SELECTION AND APPROVAL PROCESS- Designs for quarter dollars may be submitted in accordance with the design selection and approval process developed by the Secretary in the sole discretion of the Secretary.
`(C) PARTICIPATION- The Secretary may include participation by District or territorial officials, artists from the District of Columbia or the territory, engravers of the United States Mint, and members of the general public.
`(D) STANDARDS- Because it is important that the Nation's coinage and currency bear dignified designs of which the citizens of the United States can be proud, the Secretary shall not select any frivolous or inappropriate design for any quarter dollar minted under this subsection.
`(E) PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN REPRESENTATIONS- No head and shoulders portrait or bust of any person, living or dead, and no portrait of a living person may be included in the design of any quarter dollar under this subsection.
`(4) TREATMENT AS NUMISMATIC ITEMS- For purposes of sections 5134 and 5136, all coins minted under this subsection shall be considered to be numismatic items.
`(A) QUALITY OF COINS- The Secretary may mint and issue such number of quarter dollars of each design selected under paragraph (4) in uncirculated and proof qualities as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
`(B) SILVER COINS- Notwithstanding subsection (b), the Secretary may mint and issue such number of quarter dollars of each design selected under paragraph (4) as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, with a content of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper.
`(C) TIMING AND ORDER OF ISSUANCE- Coins minted under this subsection honoring the District of Columbia and each of the territories shall be issued in equal sequential intervals during 2009 in the following order: the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
`(A) APPLICATION IN EVENT OF ADMISSION AS A STATE- If the District of Columbia or any territory becomes a State before the end of the 10-year period referred to in subsection (l)(1), subsection (l)(7) shall apply, and this subsection shall not apply, with respect to such State.
`(B) APPLICATION IN EVENT OF INDEPENDENCE- If any territory becomes independent or otherwise ceases to be a territory or possession of the United States before quarter dollars bearing designs which are emblematic of such territory are minted pursuant to this subsection, this subsection shall cease to apply with respect to such territory.
`(7) TERRITORY DEFINED- For purposes of this subsection, the term `territory' means the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.'.