The Illinois Democrats were joined by Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Republicans Richard Lugar of Indiana and Jim Bunning of Kentucky in sponsoring a bill to replace the reverse side of the penny with four designs, each representing a different aspect of Lincoln's life.
The coins would be released during 2009 depicting Lincoln's birth and childhood in Kentucky, his youth in Indiana, his professional life in Illinois and his presidency.
Lincoln's head would remain on the front of the coin.
"Abraham Lincoln is a true American hero, and his life can provide inspiration to Americans of any age and background," said Durbin.
The current "Lincoln cent" coin was issued in 1909 on the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's birth.
"The Crucible" in 1953, explored the Salem, Mass., witch trials and was widely seen as a rebuke of the anti-communism witch-hunt in Congress.
In 1956, he married Marilyn Monroe, a short-lived union understood to have inspired both his drama "After the Fall" and his final work, "Finishing the Play."