WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Wednesday overwhelmingly approved legislation to mint a coin commemorating the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Wednesday overwhelmingly approved legislation to mint a coin commemorating the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The coin, which would be minted beginning in 2015, could provide up to $5 million for the planned Marshals Museum in Fort Smith.

“We are thrilled,” said U.S. Marshals Museum Executive Director Jim Dunn. “It is a huge development not only for the museum but for the U.S. Marshals. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the purpose of the coin is to honor this federal law enforcement agency.”

Established in 1789 by George Washington, the U.S. Marshals service will celebrate its 225th anniversary in 2014.

Dunn said he was particularly grateful to Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., for their efforts in passing the bill.

“We are proud that these Arkansans could work together in bipartisan fashion for the good of our community, state and the nation. I’m very grateful,” Dunn said.

Womack and Ross worked together to secure more than 300 co-sponsors for the legislation in the House while Pryor and Boozman gathered 67 backers in the Senate – enabling the bill to move forward for floor votes.

The House in December approved an earlier version of the bill with only one vote in opposition.

The Senate last week revised the bill to accommodate concerns Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., raised over potential production costs to the U.S. Mint.

“Senator Boozman deserves a lot of credit working with Coburn,” Pryor said.

The amended bill specifies that the U.S. Mint recover all its production costs before any funds raised through the sale of the commemorative coin go to the museum. With that done, the bill passed the Senate without objection.

The amended bill returned to the House Wednesday where it again received overwhelming support, passing 409-2. It now goes to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.

Speaking on the House floor, Womack said the amended bill further assures that minting the coin to honor “a great law enforcement agency” would be done at no cost to taxpayers.

Reps. Justin Amash, R-Mich., and Jared Polis, D-Colo., voted against the bill. Polis voted for it in December. Amash voted against it both times.

Amash said he opposes having the U.S. Treasury mint a coin that would benefit a privately owned museum in the bill sponsor’s district.

“For all intents and purposes, this is an earmark. And it’s far beyond the proper scope of the federal government to act as a sales agent for a private group,” Amash said in December.

The U.S. Marshals Museum has raised nearly $2 million toward construction of the museum, Dunn said. They plan to launch a statewide fundraising campaign in the next month, followed by a national campaign in 2013. Their goal is to raise $50 million.

No date has been set to break ground for the museum, Dunn said.

The legislation calls for three coins to be minted during 2015: a $5 gold piece, a silver dollar, and a half-dollar coin. All the coins would include inscriptions of the anniversary dates of 1789 and 2014.

The first $5 million in profits from coin surcharges would go to the museum for preservation, maintenance and display of U.S. Marshals artifacts and documents. Any additional profits would be distributed to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation, and the National law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Between 2001 and 2010, the U.S. Mint raised $75.6 million for charities through the minting of commemorative coins approved by Congress. Only a handful came close to reaching the $5 million cap.

Sales of a 2007 commemorative coin raised only $1.5 million for the Department of Interior’s Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site and a 2010 commemorative coin raised $3.5 million for the National Boy Scouts of America Foundation, according to U.S. Mint reports.