Some members of Congress seem intent on ensuring $1 coins become a standard fixture in circulation and your pocket-change. Legislation seeking that result has once again been introduced.
Known as the Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings (COINS) Act, the proposed bill would eventually result in $1 coins replacing Federal Reserve $1 Notes.
S.1105 was introduced in the United States Senate on June 6, 2013 by Tom Harking (D-IA). Bipartisan support for the measure is apparent as the legislation has across the aisle backing with co-sponsors John McCain (R-AZ), Tom Coburn (R – OK) and Mike Enzi (R-WY).
Under the terms of the COINS Act, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System would be directed to undertake efforts to remove barriers to the circulation of $1 coins. This would include education for and outreach to the business sector to determine the best methods to ease the transition.
Quarterly reports would be required to tell Congress of the status of the transition. Those reports would also include any successes and failures of the changes put in place.
As stated, the goal of the measure would be to replace the $1 note with the $1 coin. To that end, the Federal Reserve System would no longer be able to order new $1 notes for circulation once one of two criteria had been met:
- 600,000,000 new $1 coins released into circulation annually, or
- a period of four years has past since the enactment of the Act
The COINS Act would also result in the sequestration of $1 coins minted and issued from 1979-1981 and again in 1999. These strikes are commonly called Susan B. Anthony dollar coins. Sequestered coins would not be released again into circulation with the exception of bulk quantities sold at face value for numismatic purposes or those used in foreign countries who have adopted the United States Dollar as their official currency.
The COINS Act was previously introduced in the 112th Congress, but failed to become law. After that previous introduction, sponsor Tom Harkin had this comment:
"Promoting the dollar coin is a smart investment for our country that saves taxpayer’s money," said Harkin. "With the deficit looming, we need only look at the cost-savings from this effort to understand why this legislation is so urgently needed. I am hopeful that this bipartisan legislation will continue to gain traction in Congress."
Currently, the newest incarnation of the COINS Act has been referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. For the Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings Act to become law, it must pass in the Senate and House and get signed by the President.