John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives, will welcome
the gathering and join Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senators Mitch
McConnell and Harry Reid in the presentation of the medal to Palmer. Jack
Nicklaus and Country Music Star Vince Gill along with two Republican and two
Democratic members of the Senate and House also will take part in the
The Congressional Gold Medal is, along with the Presidential Medal of
Freedom, which Palmer received in 2004, the highest civilian award in the United
States. It dates back to the American Revolution. Each medal is created by the
U.S. Mint individually to honor the individual and achievements for which the
medal is awarded.
Sponsorship by two-thirds of the membership of the Senate and House
is required before the bill goes to committee. The Gold Medal legislation for the
Palmer medal was enacted and signed by President Barack Obama in 2009.