NEW LEGISLATION IN THE HOUSE WILL PROVIDE BILLIONS IN BUDGET SAVINGS THROUGH CURRENCY REFORM
Economists Estimate More than $16 Billion in Taxpayer Savings from Currency Reform
For Immediate Release
June 27, 2017
Contact: Emily David
WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Dollar Coin Alliance announced new legislation in the House has just recently been introduced that will reform U.S. currency in order to save American taxpayers billions.
The bipartisan Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings (COINS) Act of 2017 was introduced in the House by Rep. Tenney (R-NY-22), Rep. Brady (D-PA-1), Rep. Jones (R-NC-3), Rep. Tonko (D-NY-20), Rep. Gosar (R-AZ-4), Rep. Foster (D-IL-11) and Rep. Sinema (D-AZ-9). This legislation follows the introduction of similar legislation in the Senate by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.
“The COINS Act is the first step in working to reform and update our currency system. As an advocate for the taxpayer, I have always fought to reduce government spending and the COINS Act could save hardworking taxpayers over $16 billion. I am pleased to introduce this important piece of bipartisan, common-sense and cost-saving legislation and urge both the House and Senate to bring it to the floor for a vote,” said Congresswoman Tenney.
The COINS Act (H.R. 2299) will reform U.S. currency by modernizing one dollar currency, reducing the cost of nickel production and calling for the Comptroller General to carry out a study on the production cost of the penny.
“While we may love our dollar bills, replacing them with dollar coins makes good economic sense by saving the government billions of dollars. The time for currency reform has come,” said Congressman Brady.
The package of currency reforms is estimated to save taxpayers more than $16 billion, according to economists Aaron Klein and G. William Hoagland, former Chief Economist for the Senate Banking Committee and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, and former Staff Director the Senate Budget Committee, respectively.
A recently-released study by Klein and Hoagland, titled Currency Modernization: More to be Done, found:
- Switching from the dollar bill to the dollar coin would generate savings of $14.8 billion over 30 years. Over the estimated 34-year lifespan for the dollar coin, the net savings would rise to a total of $21.4 billion.
- A change in the composition of the nickel—specifically going to an 80 percent copper and 20 percent nickel alloy composition—would generate at least $5 million in savings annually, according to the Mint’s 2014 annual production levels.
- Congress could save American taxpayers over $16 billion with currency reforms.
“We are thrilled to see currency reforms are being considered in both Chambers,” said former Congressmen Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Tim Penny (D-MN), Co-Chairs of the Dollar Coin Alliance. “This is a common-sense change that 70 percent of Americans support – Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike. In a time of intense partisanship, we need to take advantage of such efforts, especially when they will save American taxpayers billions.”
According to a national survey conducted by the bipartisan polling team of Hart Research Associates (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R) on behalf of the Dollar Coin Alliance, there is broad support for currency reform across the American electorate. The Hart/POS survey, aligning with previous polls, found that 70 percent of voters favor replacing the dollar bill with the dollar coin when they learn the transition could save the government $4.4 billion over the next 30 years, a figure based on an earlier GAO study and in line with previous public surveys. This opinion is shared across the political spectrum: Republicans (74% favor), Democrats (68%), and Independents (65%) see common ground when it comes to replacing the dollar bill with the dollar coin when informed of the GAO’s savings estimate.
About 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 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.
About the Survey
Hart/POS conducted the national survey of 1,001 registered voters online in late January 2017 on behalf of DCA.