The House of Representatives is currently considering an amendment to the existing law that requires the U.S. Mint to produce quantities of bullion versions of the American Eagle coin great enough to satisfy full public demand.
During a recent hearing on "The State of U.S. Coins and Currency" held by a House Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, United States Mint Director Edmund Moy alluded to a change in the law that would allow the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue collectible versions of the American Silver Eagle (like proof coins), even if public demand for bullion coins is unmet.
This change has been proposed to address a current problem. In recent years, such as 2008 when sales of the American Silver Eagle Proof were cut short, and in 2009 when they were cancelled altogether, there has not been sufficient supply of precious metals blanks to meet public demand for bullion and proof versions. While the obvious solution would be to simply produce more blanks, this has not been possible due to incredible global demand for silver bullion over the past few years. If passed, this amendment would allow the US Mint to produce collector coins in spite of these shortcomings.
The US Mint has already stated that if the current law can be amended, they could produce around 200,000 proof and uncirculated Silver Eagles per month, totaling 830,000 before year end if they get started by September. Modern coin collectors eagerly await a decision on this matter.