Presidential $1 Coin Termination Sought in Senate Bill

by Mike Unser on January 14, 2015 · 29 comments

A bill to terminate the U.S. Mint Presidential $1 Coin Program was introduced in the Senate for a third time on Wednesday, Jan. 7. The last two versions, brought forward in the prior 112th and 113th sessions of Congress, died from inaction.

2015 Presidential $1 Coins

Images of the 2015 Presidential $1 Coins. New legislation seeks to discontinue the $1 coin series which started in 2007 and ends naturally in 2016.

Like them, this latest piece of legislation (S.95) was introduced by Senator David Vitter of Louisiana. If passed in the Senate, House and signed by the President, the United States Mint would stop striking coins bearing portraits of former presidents.

"Even though many in Congress, including myself, hoped that dollar coins would eventually save taxpayers money, it’s turned out to be one of those unnecessary and, quite frankly, wasteful programs that we should eliminate," Vitter said in 2011 when he introduced the first bill (S.1385).

Americans essentially killed the main intent of the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 by sticking to paper money and refusing to use heavier $1 coins that last longer. Hundreds of millions of the coins are now stacked up in vaults.

In December 2011, then Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner directed the U.S. Mint to stop producing all $1 coins for circulation.

"This is a big victory in the fight against mindless government waste, because these coins are a textbook case of wasteful spending — something Americans just don’t want or need," Vitter’s said at the time.

Since 2012, dollar coins have been produced in sharply lower quantities and only for numismatic purposes — for sale in U.S. Mint products made for coin collectors. These coins and products with them make money.

As such, there seems no purpose for S.95 aside from applying an official Congressional stamp on the program’s termination. An early end to the numismatic $1 products would actually cost the U.S. Mint money.

Thirty-two presidents have already been honored on $1 coins since 2007. Only 6 designs remain until the program ends naturally in 2016. Due for release this year and shown above are the 2015 Presidential $1 Coins honoring Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. The last two coins for 2016 depict Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford.

2016 Presidential $1 Coin Design Candidates of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford

2016 Presidential $1 Coin Design candidates of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford

If S.95 becomes law, it would amend Title 31, Section 5112 of the United States Code which includes the original authorization for the Presidential $1 Coins.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Mr Griffin January 14, 2015 at 11:12 am

I think the program is so close to its original end date, why bother pushing this legislation any further? As for the coins that are in storage, I say either melt them down, or sell them to coin dealers for a small profit. That way the government does not lose the money it took to make the coins, and the dealers can buy them cheap enough that they too can make a profit in an already flooded market.

Victor DeCurtis January 14, 2015 at 12:08 pm

I also say, “leave it be!” If they want to eliminate the minting of hundreds of millions of new coins, no one will use, fine. Don’t mint so damn many! Make enough for collectors, as they do now, make some for dealers, to draw in new collectors and don’t mint any more than that. I like the dollar program, as a collector, but I have never, ever used one in a vending machine or public transportation. Oh God, deliver U.S. from those whom devise more and more “series” of coins with ending dates, probably past my death! 🙂

Curtis LeMay January 14, 2015 at 12:14 pm

What they really should do is cease production of the $1 bill and force people to use dollar coins, that truly would save tax payers money, as the $1 bill generally lasts less then a year in circulation, while a dollar coin can last 40 years or more.

ToppCatt January 14, 2015 at 12:43 pm

There is little use for $1 coins and won’t be until paper bills are dispensed with starting a collectors frenzy with them (paper dollars). What I don’t understand is the over production of pennies when Canada just quit making them and we should also. I remember a few years ago in Canada with their 1 & 2 dollar coins and no one dollar bills, I ended up at the end of a shopping day with over $27 worth of change in my pocket. Not sure if 50 cent pieces were part of that or not. For what it is worth.

Dave January 14, 2015 at 2:41 pm

I completely agree with Mr. Griffin. The program ends in another year after 2015 so just let the program / bill expire with the natural passage of time. As Victor touched on, one big thing the Mint could do to save taxpayer dollars is to pare back on the quantities produced going forward while trying to liquidate the stockpiles through coin dealer programs of some sort. If all else fails or the program ideas become too costly, just melt the rest in storage and be done with
the fiasco.

Brad January 14, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Another fine example of politician putting his hand in an area he knows little about…or trying to make a point, despite underlying information that makes it illogical…

Richard January 14, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Could be he doesn’t want to see the minting of a Nixon dollar….

Munzen January 14, 2015 at 3:57 pm

(1) End production of $1 bills. Even if they’re not formally withdrawn they wear out so fast they’ll be gone from circulation in 5 to 7 years.

(2) Redesign the $2 bill and increase production. OK, OK, we really should have a $2 coin but compromising on a paper bill will partially defang Crane Paper and its lobbyists, possibly making elimination of the $1 bill somewhat more palatable.

Unfortunately melting the existing stock of $1 coins would require more than a few financial gyrations due to seigniorage. They’re on the books at a buck each but if melted they’d revert to their metal value.

Ilovesilver January 14, 2015 at 11:53 pm

I used about 10-15 dollar coins per day, each piece is Awesome artwork , we should use dollar coin often,
Don’t cut production of Dollar coin
Did you guys know which country produce our Currency’s Paper ???
USA ? wrong
the correct answer : Germany

Kahoola January 14, 2015 at 11:55 pm

The value of the 1913 dollar is $33 current; the 1913 penny 33c current. So stop production of all bills $20 and under and switch to coins. Drop production of all denominations under the quarter as their 1913 purchasing power is a fraction of a 1913 cent. Problem is that if foreigners recognize how much the buck has dropped in value they may ditch the US$ altogether and the US would be cooked.
My understanding is that some South American country ditched their own inflated currency and is using the US$. They found that the golden dollar lasts a lot longer then paper. They are importing zillions of golden dollars for use there. Maybe this will take care of all those coins in the Fed vaults.

Ilovesilver January 15, 2015 at 12:08 am

the Golden dollar when they come out look very shinning, but after couple months and change hand by thousand touch, it become super dirty and unable to see the design of the coin, we need a new type of Material for the coin, Zinc need to replace by Tungsten, may be come out result much better

John O January 15, 2015 at 11:17 am

If anything, I’m in favor of amending the legislation, extending it another year and qualifying Presidents that have been out of office for two years. That would include President Carter and both Bushes.

Victor DeCurtis January 15, 2015 at 12:02 pm

John O, by law no one can be eligible to be depicted on any currency, until they are dead, 5 years. Roosevelt and Kennedy are the only exceptions and that took an act of Congress, to happen. God help U.S. if that Palestinian apologist, Carter, gets on a dollar coin. O’Bobo too!

Whistler January 15, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Should have been $5 coins, on half dollar blanks, eliminate the $1 coin, what can u get but a weird look from people, heck when I spend a $2 they almost cal the cops due to the ‘counterfeit’ bill, morons running/working ca$hregisters these days

tomthumb January 15, 2015 at 2:42 pm

eliminate the one $ bill, makes sense and saves money, that’s why it’s politically incorrect

Dale January 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Us Mint should of used the 5oz silver round for this program less mintage and not a waste piled up setting in a vault…

David January 15, 2015 at 9:51 pm

Personally I think the Presidential dollar series was a huge blunder. These coins are just plain ugly. People won’t use them because the US Government refuses to eliminate the dollar note.

jim January 15, 2015 at 11:27 pm

I agree, I think Vitter has a problem with one of the two remaining presidents to be minted in 2016 and doesn’t want that to happen despite how stupid he looks for entering a bill so late in the game. I’d leave it be if they happened to slip in the elimination of the penny though.

brock January 18, 2015 at 11:12 pm

Canada only has one loonies on its coin. This series will be a hit!

Clifford Johnson January 22, 2015 at 6:19 am

The bill supposes that the Presidential dollar bill represents a taxpayer waste, but that is only because the GAO vastly understates the benefits of replacing the dollar bill with the dollar coin, due to seigniorage. See my articles “How The One Dollar Coin Can Cure The Economy” at http://www.opednews.com/articles/How-The-One-Dollar-Coin-Ca-by-Clifford-Johnson-130515-443.html, and “Federal Court Affirms Sweeping ‘Bully Pulpit’ Government Right to Lie,” at http://www.opednews.com/articles/Federal-Court-Affirms-Swee-by-Clifford-Johnson-130221-478.html.

Stuart Wheeler January 22, 2015 at 9:42 am

Perhaps the day is near when transactions of any kind won’t require the use of coins, paper currency and credit cards. What will be required however, would be having an electronic chip surgically implanted beneath the skin of one’s forehead and tractions would be accomplished from that chip by the wave of an electronic scanner over the forehead. Prophetically speaking. The mark of the beast.

jim January 22, 2015 at 10:45 am

Yeah, and when you’ve reached a certain age you turn yourself in to be recycled. I’ve seen that movie.

Jim January 22, 2015 at 4:06 pm

About those millions of coins stacked up in vaults, why not offer them to the public at face value, like they used to? No more storage expense, no cost to melt them, and I for one used to enjoy showing them to kids or history buffs, leaving them as tips, or using them as conversation starters. And they aren’t all that inconvenient, out West when I was a kid we used silver dollars in everyday commerce and no one had a problem with them.

Mr Griffin January 23, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Jim, I gotta say that I really do like your idea! Of cuorse those dealers that are trying to sell them at a premium might not like the public buying them at face value. Still I say Go for it!

Clifford Johnson January 23, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Apparently you haven’t heard. The Federal Reserve banks have been doing their best to give the coins to the public, for years and years. We are refusing them, instead insisting on dollar bills.

That’s the official story–although, according to ex-Mint Director Philip Dielh (and myself) the Fed banks have long engaged in underhand practices to frustrate their distribution. See his December 20, 2012 testimony at http://financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hhrg-112-ba19-wstate-pdiehl-20121129.pdf, beginning: “For many years, the dollar coin has faced another significant obstacle: the FRB’s [Federal Reserve Board’s] preference for the dollar note.”

Dark Penguin April 16, 2015 at 2:34 am

The government hasn’t made dollar coins available to me. I gave up on them because the banks in my neighborhood — which I’d actually visit just to buy dollar coins — almost never had any. The reason for that is simple: what coins are stocked by the banks is largely driven by the coin ordering habits of retailers, and retailers pretty much refused to order the dollar coins. For the vast majority of consumers, if the cashier behind the counter doesn’t have any dollar coins in it, then you’re not going to be using dollar coins.

Paper dollar advocates would have it that we, as a people, rejected the dollar coin en masse, but it simply isn’t true. The vast majority of us didn’t get to choose.

Clifford Johnson April 16, 2015 at 11:48 am

Last month I visited a local Bank of America branch, and asked a teller if I could please exchange a $20 bill for 20 $1 coins. “No, I don’t think we have them” said the teller. I asked her to check with her manager, and the response was yes, but could I make it $25 since they only had them in unopened rolls of 25 coins? I obtained a freshly minted roll of Presidential coins.
I sought the same exchange in a local Wells Fargo bank. The teller did not seem to understand me, and began counting out quarters. However, I saw that she did have a partial column of dollar coins, stacked incongruously atop a half column of quarters, to which I pointed. She expressed incredulity that I wanted “them?” I obtained a mix of used Sacagawea and Susan B.s, with just a couple of Presidential coins.
I have since been giving house guests new Presidential coins. Well over half do not recognize them, and ask whether they are real money. A few complain of the weight (as do I), but all are pleased with their presidential surprise. On the other hand, those who attempt to use $1 coins in daily transactions are often frustrated not only in person-to-person dealings but because the continuing rarity of circulating $1 coins has failed to induce basic vending machine manufacturers, e.g. of pay phones, to accept them. See, e.g., Dollar Coins: Pathway to Patriotism or Branding Tool? at http://www.expressnews.com/business/business_columnists/michael_taylor/article/Dollar-coins-Pathway-to-patriotism-or-branding-6108013.php and Susan B. Anthony, green M&Ms no laughing matter at http://www.saratogian.com/lifestyle/20150102/susan-b-anthony-green-mms-no-laughing-matter.
All things considered, the public has not a real opportunity, let alone a fair chance, to prefer the dollar coin.

Emran ismail May 8, 2016 at 11:01 pm

we should keep the $1 dollar coin and get rid of $1 dollar bill

If you agree with them sign my petition and share it
https://www.change.org/p/kill-the-us-1-dollar-bill-with-us-1-dollar-coin

Clifford Johnson May 9, 2016 at 1:20 am

End the $1 bill instead!

This bill represents the culmination of 40 years of underhand obstruction by the Federal Reserve, to the $1 coin. See “How The One Dollar Coin Can Cure The Economy” at http://www.opednews.com/articles/How-The-One-Dollar-Coin-Ca-by-Clifford-Johnson-130515-443.html.

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