Longtime gold standard advocate, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, has scheduled an April 1 hearing of his U.S. House Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy to examine the bullion programs at the U.S. Mint.

Last week Paul introduced H.R. 1098, the Free Competition in Currency Act of 2011, that would repeal legal tender laws in order to prohibit taxation on gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium bullion.  The bill has been referred to the House Committees on Financial Services, Ways and Means, and Judiciary.

Paul is a strong advocate of currency backed by precious metals. Peter Schroeder, a reporter for The Hill, recently suggested that he anticipates that Paul will use the bullion hearing to further promote his cause.

Last July, Mineweb reported that Paul opposes the Mint’s effort to gain greater power in determining the metals composition of circulating coinage.

The Mint is now setting the stage for a major overhaul of the metals composition of coins and how the Mint is going to manufacture them. The Coin Modernization, Oversight and Continuity Act of 2010 gives the Mint greater flexibility in meeting the demand for bullion coins as well as meeting the demand for gold and silver numismatic items.

Previously, Congress regulated the qualities and quantities of U.S. bullion coins.