S.94 Seeks to End Presidential $1 Coins

by Darrin Lee Unser on February 8, 2013 · 24 comments

Presidential $1 Coins

Newly introduced legislation seeks once again to put Presidential $1 Coins on the chopping block. If enacted into law, the proposed bill would strike the current legal requirement to produce dollar coins.

Senator David Vitter (R-La) introduced S.94 on Jan. 23, 2013. Entitled "A bill to terminate the $1 presidential coin program," the proposed legislation is identical to one he introduced two years ago.

Since that time, however, the Presidential $1 Coin Program has undergone a significant change. In December 2011, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner ordered the U.S. Mint to stop striking all $1 coins for circulation. Since then, they have only been minted for numismatic purposes and sold directly by the U.S. Mint.

The $1 coin suspension was initiated as part of a Campaign to Cut Government Waste. At the time, hundreds of millions were produced annually, but most of them shipped to and remained in Federal Reserve Bank vaults. According to estimations back then, there were enough Presidential dollars in storage to meet the circulation needs of the country for more than a decade.

S.94 seeks to amend Title 31, Section 5112 of the United States Code which contains the original authorization for the Presidential $1 Coins. It would remove the legal requirement for the coins by striking subsection (n).

For that to occur, this legislation or similar legislation would need to pass in both chambers of Congress and get signed into law by the President of the United States. The series may still continue even if that happens. Under 31 U.S.C. §5111(a) (3), the Secretary of the Treasury "may prepare and distribute numismatic items," meaning the $1 coins could stay in production if directed by the Secretary.

S.94 is before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Presidential dollars debuted in 2007. The series features four new coins annually with obverse portraits of the former Presidents of the United States. Those Presidents are honored in the order in which they served. If left unchanged, Presidential dollars will continue through to at least 2016.

Due for release this year are 2013 Presidential $1 Coins honoring William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson. (See the 2013 $1 designs.)

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron February 8, 2013 at 4:42 am

PLEASE Stop! I can’t stand the thought of obama being on a coin. He is NOT worthy…. PLEEEEEASE STOP!!

Mark February 8, 2013 at 7:30 am

Ron, unless Obama dies within two years of the program ending, it won’t happen.

jim February 8, 2013 at 8:26 am

The crisis is over – all Presidential coins minted are being bought by collectors and none are being stockpiled anymore. This is a useless bill and a waste of time.

Kevin February 8, 2013 at 2:14 pm

“Campaign to cut government waste”. That’s rich. I saw an article that dumbed down the saga of the national debt so that we taxpayers could grasp it. Just knock eight zeros off and compare it to a family budget. The (poor) family takes in about $21,000 in income, spends about $38,000 each year, their total credit card debt is about $141,000.00. And budget cuts everyone is fighting over total $38.50. Yup thirty-eight dollars and fifty cents. Now add eight zeros and you’ve got the financial snapshot of the USA.

So how’s that “Campaign to cut government waste” working out?

thePhelps February 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm

This is just an example of an out of touch Senator putting a bill out to say he is doing something to save tax payers money. jim is right – the coins are now only minted as collector items and paid for as the demand requires – so this bill is a waste of tax payers time and money. Kevin, I read that same analogy several months ago as well. It is sad to think our legislators are so far out of touch with you or I and have no idea “whats in their wallets”.

Michael February 8, 2013 at 11:41 pm

What’s in their wallets? On top of the salary of taxpayer’s money is lobbiest and private interest money. So who are they looking after? Also, how is the war on paper v metal in one dollar terms? Vitter doesn’t know his a** from his elbow and should not be in congress, but there is his friend Jerry Mander.

annie February 9, 2013 at 5:13 am

send all dollar coins and melt them down. reproduce two smaller and lighter one dollar coin for each current one dollar. everybody should be happy. and the mint or government make 100% profit. why not?. simple solution. isn’t it?.

jim February 9, 2013 at 7:44 am

annie – it’s not the size of the dollar coin that’s stopping people from using them. People prefer paper to metal because metal is more bulky. Generally wallets made with coin purses attached don’t fit easily in pockets. And people who use credit cards instead of cash don’t care much one way or the other.

Paul Caron February 9, 2013 at 5:53 pm

I have been collecting these coins since the program started,and trying to fill my book now they want to stop it.I remember back when it started i was able to go to my bank and i would buy a roll everytime a new coin came out and continued until they stopped circulating them a couple years ago.I’m glad i saved all my rolls because i know someday they will be passed down to my children and hopefully their children and they ought to be worth quite a bit in 50 to 100 years from now,i see them on ebay selling for more money now and the other day i bought all 4 that i needed for 2013 and paid $2.50 per coin so yea they will have value in the coming years

Munzen February 10, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Annie, $1 coins in Canada, Australia, and NZ are almost exactly the same size and they work fine. The difference is that those countries all also have $2 coins so people don’t have to carry four $1 coins, but somehow we in the US can’t figure out something so simple. And because a $2 coin would be a brand-new size and design, it _could_ be made smaller.

Or if we’re SO wedded to paper we can’t give up both low-denomination bills, the BEP could come up with a modern design for the $2 note and print enough to serve the same purpose as a coin. It wouldn’t be quite so efficient but at least it would halve the waste we now have from $1 notes.

RonnieBGood February 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm

The $1 and $2 Canadian dollar, quarter and nickel coins are also lighter in weight than US coins. A pocket full of coins from Canada won’t cause you to lose your pants. They have also ceased the production of 1 cent coins.

Coins do have a much longer circulation life than paper bills. However, in fewer years than it will take for Congress to agree on this issue, paper money and coin production will become as obsolete as the US postal service 1st Class mailed letter (this happened in only 4 short years and say goodbye to Saturday mail delivery in August). Think reduction in the production of printed bills are unlikely to happen? All Social Security checks, Disability and Railroad retirement checks will no longer be mailed and only direct deposited or Debit card issued.

Times they are a changin’. A point to ponder, What does this say to the future of coin collecting?

RonnieBGood February 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I suppose I could have added increased use of Direct Deposit of paychecks, Online Bill payment and Credit and Debit card use to further support reductions in coin and paper currency production in the future. Ah yes, in case you didn’t catch it in the news a First Class postage stamp increased by 1 cent to .46 cents this January.

I’m sure that Coins to support the collecting community will continue long after currency production will cease. Did you also hear that bar code scanning and payment at the Store checkout counter is now done by smart phone in Europe and will be in the US by next summer…

Kahoola February 11, 2013 at 2:44 am

The next time there is a big storm or flood and the internet goes down, see how far your credit card gets you. Bet you that currency, even the hated presidential dollars, will work a lot better. Bet you that even the post office will work too.

Lets not rap the post office either, the post office is in the constitution, it is one of the fundamental duties of the feds. As for Saturday deliveries, if they had $2 billion more they could continue. Last i heard one of those advanced tactical fighter aircraft cost $1/2 billion. So if they just did not buy 4 advanced tactical fighters the post office could continue Saturday deliveries. Me myself would rather have Saturday mail.

george glazener February 11, 2013 at 8:20 am

Kevin;
You nailed it best. These stuffed shirts in DC don’t truly give a rat’s ass about govt. waste, because they themselves are piles of govt. waste, and they smell just as bad.

george glazener February 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

He already is, sort of. The 2012 Native American dollar coin has an image of a horse’s ass on it

RonnieBGood February 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Tired of the ones that don’t get it.
George does. Keep the truth.

FYI the 2 billion in red ink for the post office was in 2011. For 2012 it was close to 16 billion. Getting rid of Saturday delivery will not solve their problems. The issues stem from US law requirements to ship to every corner of the USA. Competing companies ship the cheapest hub and then have the US post office ship it the remaining distance. There are many remote areas in the US i.e. remote villages by plane only in Alaska. Prices are held far too low to recoup their costs and the red ink flows.

Not knocking the Post Office. It’s not their fault. It’s the way our society is evolving. This is also true with minted and printed currency. There is plenty of currency that has been minted over the last 200 + years to support any temporary internet down time (including the change in the jar by the bed). Has the internet gone down yet for any length of time in any disaster, human or by nature? This costs them too much. Or perhaps an asteroid will send all of the satellites and telephone cables crashing down at once.

Sorry guys. Will stick to coins in the future.

george glazener February 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm

By the way Ronnie, speaking of asteroids, did you hear over the weekend on CNN; they were talking about the asteroid that’s going to skirt by the earth on the 15th, some “news” babe actually asked the question “could this asteroid possibly be related to global warming?” Unbelievable…

Kevin February 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm

‘Honey, I’m home! Hey, look at the great deal I got! Im so thrifty and so smart, I saved $38.50. Of course to save $38.50, I had to spend an extra $17,000 that we didn’t have but let’s not talk about that!’
-Uncle Sam

Vachon February 12, 2013 at 6:14 am

If our coins actually had purchasing power, they wouldn’t be hoarded in pockets and jars the way they are now. The monetary system we use now is far too precise for our daily transactional needs. If all coins below the quarter-dollar would stop being produced and all bills below $20 terminated and replaced with $2, $5, and $10 coins, the coins would have significant purchasing power and do what they were intended to do which is circulate. People wouldn’t hoard such coins because it would be too costly to do so.

Almost no one alive actually remembers when coins had significant purchasing power. We would think differently about our coins if they did. I work as a cashier and I hear it from the youth. They view coins as nuisances. My favorite reaction thus far has been, “Just give me the bills. I don’t want the coins: they’re not real money.”

george glazener February 12, 2013 at 7:33 am

@Vachon;
Sadly, you’re right. And yet if they just took the time to sit down at the kitchen table every 2-3 months and roll all their change, they could walk into a bank and come back out with $30 – $40 dollars in cold hard cash. It amazes me that some people toss all their coins into those conversion machines in the supermarket lobby and come away with 75-80% of the face value because it’s fast and convenient. Coins DO have value, even pennies, but only if you’re willing to give them the time & effort required. Oh well, I’m old school I guess.

jim February 12, 2013 at 7:47 am

Rolling coins is a hassle, both coming and going. If I got a pile of coins I’d go to the local casino and let them count the coins and give me bills in return – for free. But I don’t get piles of coins anymore; I as much as possible use a credit card and get at least 1% cash back on every purchase I make.

Mike February 12, 2013 at 1:15 pm

RonnieBGood quoted “A pocket full of coins from Canada won’t cause you to lose your pants.” Maybe its time more young men started wearing belts. ;-)

Lee February 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Mr. Vitter comes into my retail store at least once a month….I can’t wait to give him his change in Presidential coins and ask about S.94!!!!

Fred April 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm

The Presidential Dollars should be continued only if those that buy the coin rolls in bulk (in order to introduce the currency to the public) once again can buy them at face value without excessive delivery costs.
I stopped collecting when I realized that I only collect 4 from the box of rolls I order, and instead of paying face value, I was sacrificing $1.11 approx to waste each time that I introduced each dollar to the public.
I would continue to collect if the government reinstated their former policy of face value cost per box as before.

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