WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia is getting a place on the quarter's flip side.
After nearly 10 years of lobbying, a measure tucked into a massive federal spending bill passed by Congress will extend the popular state quarter program to the nation's capital as well as five territories: American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The D.C. quarter is due in 2009, with a design yet to be determined.
"Can you believe it? How many years have I tried to get that?" said the city's congressional delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton.
Washington and the territories were left out when a law establishing the nationwide quarters program was passed in 1998. The U.S. Mint began issuing the coins the following year, issuing them in the order that states were admitted to the union. The program was to wind up next year. So far, about 30 billion coins have been minted.
Legislators said not including the district was an oversight. But to city residents, being left out was yet another snub, on top of not having a voting member in Congress and having local laws subjected to federal review.
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