Press Release: Bipartisan COINS Act Offers Billions in Budget Savings
BIPARTISAN COINS ACT OFFERS BILLIONS IN BUDGET SAVINGS
Modernizing U.S. Dollar Saves Taxpayers Billions
Without Raising Taxes or Cutting Programs
For Immediate Release
June 6, 2013
Contact: Bryan DeAngelis
WASHINGTON, DC – A bipartisan coalition of Senators introduced legislation today estimated to save taxpayers at least $4.5 billion. The legislation calls for eliminating the dollar bill and replacing it with a $1 coin, a move the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office has recommended to Congress nine times over the last twenty-three years.
Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), John McCain (R-AZ), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced the Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings (COINS) Act today. The COINS Act (S.1105) calls for the elimination of the wasteful and inefficient dollar note and a full modernization to the more economical and environmentally friendly dollar coin.
The COINS Act would require Federal Reserve Banks to stop issuing the $1 note four years after enactment of the legislation or when circulation of $1 coins exceeds 600 million annually – whichever comes first. This measure is necessary based on the experience of every country that has successfully transitioned to a low denomination coin.
“Modernizing our currency is long overdue. In a time of fiscal restraint, Congress must take a hard look at the billions sitting right in front of them,” said former Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), Co-Chair of the Dollar Coin Alliance. “This is a common sense budget solution that saves billions without raising a single tax or cutting a single program.”
Recent public opinion polls have found that approximately two-thirds of Americans support a transition to the coin when they are told about the estimated budget savings. The elimination of the dollar bill and transition to the coin has also been endorsed by a broad coalition of supporters, including editorial boards from across the country such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Wisconsin State Journal, and USA Today.
“Most Americans have embraced the benefits of currency modernization as a step in the right direction,” said former Congressman Tim Penny (D-MN), Co-Chair of the Dollar Coin Alliance. “The dollar coin has overwhelming support and saves taxpayers money, it would be wrong not to move forward with its legislation.”
While dollar bills last only a few years, according to the GAO’s latest estimate, a $1 coin can remain in circulation for more than 30 years. This means a single dollar coin can replace up to 17 dollar notes during its lifetime. Additionally, while billions of dollar notes are shredded and sent to landfills each year, $1 coins are 100 percent recyclable – meaning that even after coins are pulled from circulation, they can be melted down and forged into new coins.
The private sector also stands to benefit from a dollar coin transition. Jammed dollar bills in vending machines cost the industry hundreds of millions in annual repair costs and lost sales. Evidence from the transit industry indicates that it is six times less expensive for businesses with high levels of cash transactions to process $1 coins versus $1 bills.
About The Dollar Coin Alliance
The Dollar Coin Alliance is a coalition of small businesses, budget watchdogs, transit agencies, and labor groups dedicated to saving American taxpayers billions of dollars by transitioning to a one-dollar coin, and focused on educating taxpayers and policy-makers about the benefits of increasing dollar coin circulation. For more information, or to get involved, please visit www.DollarCoinAlliance.org.
What People Are Saying About The Dollar Coin:
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). COINS Act Sponsor
“The benefits of the dollar coin have long been recognized by reputable sources such as the GAO as a smart investment for our country,” said Harkin. “The experiences of countries around the world reveal that transitioning to dollar coins will generate significant savings to taxpayers without disrupting businesses or consumers. I am hopeful that this bipartisan legislation will continue to gain traction in Congress.”
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) COINS Act Co-Sponsor
"I am pleased to again cosponsor the Coins Act, which will modernize our currency and more importantly provide real savings to American taxpayers,” said McCain. “Given our country’s staggering debt, Congress should pass this common sense reform to reduce government spending.”
Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), COINS Act Co-Sponsor
“Nothing should be off the table when looking for ways to reduce the deficit and that includes changes to our currency,” said Enzi. “Changing to dollar coins has the potential to save millions and is one of many steps we need to take on the road back to fiscal responsibility.”
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), COINS Act, Co-Sponsor
“Currency production should make economic sense. That’s a no-brainer,” Dr. Coburn said. “As GAO has said, a switch to the dollar coin would be cost-effective.”
Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), COINS Act Co-Sponsor
"This bipartisan idea takes an innovative approach to modernizing U.S. currency while saving billions of dollars in the long run,” Udall said. “Getting the federal budget deficit in check requires a thorough examination of our dollars and cents – in this case, literally. Transitioning to the dollar coin represents a more sustainable approach to our currency."
Lorelei St. James, Director of The Physical Infrastructure, Government Accountability Office
“We continue to believe that replacing the note with a coin is likely to provide a financial benefit to the government if the note is eliminated… Many other countries have successfully replaced low denomination notes with coins, even when initially faced with public opposition.” -11/28/2012
Former Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), Co-Chairman Of The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force
“The goal of this task force has been to identify bipartisan proposals to address our country’s growing federal debt. Modernizing our one-dollar currency is a simple, common sense measure that I have long supported because of the billions in savings it offers the federal government.” -1/15/2013
Phillip N. Diehl, Former Director of The United States Mint
“The benefits of the dollar coin are well-known and hardly debatable. Put simply, switching to a coin saves the country money. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office has studied this issue six times during the past 20 years, and each time has concluded that the government can save billions by replacing the dollar bill with a dollar coin.” -9/24/2012
Dave Dugoff, Vice-President at The Mid-Atlantic Car Wash Association
“I run a business that’s about as small as it gets — a car wash in Maryland… for the past 12 years, I’ve been using $1 coins as change for my customers. And guess what? People like them.” – 4/25/2012
Tom Schatz, President of Citizens Against Government Waste
“We are literally throwing our money away… the reality is dollar bills last about three years while coins last thirty or more. This small ‘change’ will save the United States billions.” – 9/20/2011