COINS Act Would Eliminate Dollar Bill, Replace with $1 Coin

by Darrin Lee Unser on October 3, 2011 · 18 comments

Dollar bill and $1 coin

The COINS Act would eventually eliminate the dollar bill with the dollar coin

Members of the United States Congress are once again seeking a change to the status quo of the $1 coin. However, unlike other recent attempts to actually end or severely limit production of the coins, this newest piece of legislation would ramp up $1 coin production with the goal to eventually replace the paper dollar bill.

The Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings Act, or COINS Act, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives as H.R. 2977 on September 20, 2011 by Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona.

Schweikert, a member of the House Financial Services Committee and the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, introduced the COINS Act as a means to save the government, and by extension the American people, billions of dollars.

"At a time when we are staring down a record-breaking $1.3 trillion deficit, any commonsense measure that cuts billions needs to be given serious consideration. That is exactly what the COINS Act will do and why I am introducing it," said Representative David Schweikert in a statement released about H.R. 2977.

"Protecting taxpayer dollars has never been more critical. One area where Americans may be surprised to learn we can save money is in our currency. By making this transition from a dollar bill to a dollar coin, the U.S. will save $184 million a year and nearly $6 billion over 30 years."

Act Outlines Steps in Moving from Dollar Bill to $1 Coin

The COINS Act takes a multi-faceted approach in moving away from the dollar bill to $1 coin. Aside from the appropriate reports to Congress on the progress of the plan, several specific steps are outlined in the proposed legislation.

First among them is the sequestering of Susan B. Anthony Dollars from circulation within six months of the enactment of the H.R. 2977. These coins were struck from 1979 to 1981 and again in 1999. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System would essentially impound Susan B. Anthony Dollars to prevent their return to circulation, although the dollars would still be available in bulk quantities at face value to coin dealers and to other countries which have adopted the U.S. dollar as their base currency.

U.S. $1 Coins

U.S. dollar coins. From left to right, a Susan B. Anthony Dollar, a Native American Dollar featuring Sacagawea and a Presidential $1 Coin featuring Abraham Lincoln.

After one year, the Secretary of the Treasury would declare all Susan B. Anthony Dollars obsolete. However, any still in circulation would forever be considered legal tender.

Additional steps would seek to continue the circulation and public acceptance of the remaining $1 coins, the Native American Dollars and the Presidential Dollars. The end goal of which would be to achieve adequate use and supplies of the aforementioned coins to eventually replace the dollar bill.

Federal Reserve $1 Notes would be replaced when one of two following requirements was met:

  • 600,000,000 of the $1 coins were placed into circulation annually or, failing that,
  • 4 years have passed following the enactment of the COINS Act

At that time, Federal Reserve Banks could not order dollar bill replacements from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) but could, for one year, use existing inventories or return to circulation any bills still fit for use. Following the one year period, any $1 notes deposited would then be destroyed. Those still in circulation would still be considered legal tender. There is also a side provision that would enable the BEP to produce dollar bills specifically for collectors.

H.R. 2977 currently has four cosponsors. The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. For the COINS Act to become law, it must pass in both chambers of Congress and win the signature of the President of the United States.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike October 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Thirty two years after the introduction of the smaller dollar coin- IT IS ABOUT TIME!!!!

bill October 3, 2011 at 7:53 pm

lol

it was only a few months ago…

“Proposed Legislation Would End Presidential Dollar Coins”
http://www.coinnews.net/2011/07/22/proposed-legislation-would-end-presidential-dollar-coins/

typical

just shut down the govt
we can probably get china to make our coins cheaper

hahahaha

vachon October 4, 2011 at 4:59 am

I wouldn’t favor the forced withdrawal of $1 notes…just let them circulate until they wear out.

Take this two steps further:
1) Don’t allow banks to order quarters, only “fractional dollars”. That way, ½ their order would be quarter-dollars and the other ½ would be half-dollars…get those halves circulating again!

2) Up the ante: Eliminate the $2, $5, and $10 bill while they are at it and replace them with $2½, $5, and $10 coins leaving the $20 bill as the lowest circulating paper currency. Inflation has ruined their value. Making those denominations coins would restore the effective purchasing power coins once had.

vachon October 4, 2011 at 5:28 am

Actually, one serious thought though. The metal value of the 100¢ coin is less than 8¢. That’s a very large discrepency in metal value to face value. What will stop its prolific counterfeiting once the $1 coin is plentiful in circulation? Congress should probably consider more expensive alloys to deter such actions. Isn’t England besieged by counterfeit pound coins?

steve1942 October 4, 2011 at 11:00 am

It would be great using metal half and full dollar coins. I hate paper money and find its expense ridiculous. That’s just my opinion not truly noteworthy. But, why is this newsletter using out of date related coin news links? The four used today are at least 1 year old. If the publisher finds it too expensive to provide up to date links (and that’s understandable) he should just remove them from the page. Using the old links just cheapens the look of this report on coins and the newsletter. If it’s a cost issue, please delete them, thanks.

Lbrewer42 October 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

- Say yes to heavy pockets.
- Say yes to an immediate price raise in everything once the dollar is psychologically demoted to the new “just pocket change” quarter.
- Ignore that when Canada did this – they had these issues (I witnessed it).
- Also ignore that the dollar-pocket-change price increases and heavy pocket syndrome also led Canada to have to make a $2.00 coin also.
- Ignore that Canada banks hated changing these things in (in Canada) b/c for banks to ship them in to get larger bills – it costs so much more out of their pockets (read – pass the expense along to consumers) to ship 100,00 metal coins than 100,000 in paper.
- Ignore the American people have OVERWHELMINGLY chosen NOT to use these (look it up – most sit in a vault where taxpayer money is wasted to store and guard them).
- ignore that the 184 million per year this allegedly will save taxpayers is CHICKEN FEED compared to how much we would save by simply enforcing illegal immigration laws ALREADY ON THE BOOKS!
- Yes Congress – bypass the important issues and waste time on things like this that most people have proven they do not want.
- Ignore common sense & fact – its a pain to have to think.

Mercury October 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I hear you load and clear October 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm.
My sentiments exactly!

CCraig October 8, 2011 at 2:17 am

I say GO FOR IT!
I am 100% in support of eliminating the $1 bill.
I am 100% in support of a circulating $1 coin.
I am 100% in support of a circulating $2 bill (or $2 coin in the future)
$184 million per year savings is at least SAVINGS.

T. Joseph October 10, 2011 at 8:26 am

Finally, sombody in Washington get’s it! Tell your representative…this is projected to save 550 million plus a year and if they cannot get this straightforward, “small stuff in there eyes”, handled they will never get bigger items handled! Thank you Paul.

Rebecca October 10, 2011 at 4:21 pm

In reality most of us carry little to no money in our purses or wallets – we carry plastic. So when I hear the argument that we’ll have heavy pockets it makes me laugh. Will our pockets really be heavier? But let’s say you do carry change. Consider that most vending machines start at $1 per purchase, and if you’re carrying a $1 coin as opposed to a bunch of quarters, nickles and dimes you pockets would actually be lighter! Overall, I think the government needs to make a decision and finish what they started. In order to make the program successful, it would require a forced withdrawal of the $1 bill or it will fail like it has two other times.

John Riechers October 11, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I agree – getting tired of the weight argument – how often do you have a bunch of 1 dollar bills on you? the cost savings are well documented – it is time to implement this idea – it is a way for every American to help with our debt crisis – just my two cents!

ddougle December 5, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Nonsense. Ive been to countries that went paperless small money. It sucks. You wind up with either large bills, or pockets full of change from those bills. You might also want to think about thousands of people who actually mail a buck or two along with their mail, for small items. Ham radio operators some 800,000 of them in the US alone) do this when sending confirmation cards to other hams. This pays for the postage back from the foreign ham – they are called “green stamps”. One can purchase an International Reply Coupon to do this, but many countries post offices do not accept these coupons. Id much rather have a couple dozen dollar bills in my billfold, than the same number of coins in my pocket.

JOE December 10, 2011 at 4:32 am

The Government should make the new Columbus coins 2 dollar denomination coins it would save nearly twice as much money.

Munzen February 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm

ddougle: “Id [sic[ much rather have a couple dozen [sic] dollar bills in my billfold, than the same number of coins in my pocket.”
I can’t remember the last time I had a couple of dozen $1 bills all at once. And the countries that eliminated their $1 bill or equivalent also use $2 coins or bills so you rarely get huge numbers of coins in change. And if weight is the issue, nobody seems bothered by carrying piles of quarters to feed vending machines, parking meters, etc., yet 4 quarters weigh almost 23 grams, three times as much as a $1 coin.

I’ve visited the UK, the EU, Canada, and Australia – high-value coins are successful there. Those 750 million-plus people can use them without ending civilization as we know it. How come we Americans are so utterly incapable of adapting?

Dockwalliper March 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm

The vending machines where I work give you a pocket full of quarters if you use a $5 bill. I would much rather get the 3 or 4 dollar coins. Dollar coins are easier to use in the machines too. Don’t have to make sure they are flat and not riped or worn. Its time.

Brett March 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm

If it saves money lets give it a shot unless it will cause more trouble than it alleviates. I would like to see a coin scheme that supports the “green” environmental issue that we are facing instead of pointlessly glorifying individuals. It sets the example that being selfish and vain is more important but is definitely less meaningful especially now. Thank you.

Daniel Bucharski May 25, 2012 at 10:04 am

Every body shut up about the weight of the dollar coins. If people have alot of change in there pockets it because (a) they cant count (b) or they choose to have all that change in there pocket. I would have to say 90% of the time when the bill is $4.26 people would rather hand out a $5 dollar bill than dig for change. So stop about the weight when people would rather collect it. Second counterfeit coins would be much harder to do rather to a paper note. Its not worth to counterfeit the one dollar. Life expectancy of the $1 note is around a year compared to the coin of 30 years also you can remelt coins into new ones. Not only is the government saving taxpayer money there also making money off the seniorage. One bad thing I can think of is the shipping of the weight but if you weigh it out less coins would have to be shiped out due to the long life expectany compared to paper.

Tom October 9, 2012 at 2:45 am

Everybody also needs to shut up about the “stripper” issue as well. If you don’t want to toss dollar coins at them, then cash in some dollar coins for $2, or even $5 bills if you’re that perverted.

Oh, and a $2 1/2 dollar coin would be a horrible idea, compared to an even $2 coin. Adding a fraction to a non-fractional denomination like the quarter eagle would be too confusing in this day and age.

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