More specifically, Congressman David Schweikert (R-Arizona), a member of the House Financial Services Committee and the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, this week introduced a bill to reduce the deficit by billions by phasing out the $1 bill. The so-called Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings (“COINS”) Act calls for a transition from the dollar bill to the dollar coin to reduce government waste:
“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 Schweikert.
The COINS Act would require Federal Reserve Banks to stop issuing the $1 note 4 years after enactment of the legislation or when circulation of $1 coins exceeds 600 million annually – whichever comes first. 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.
Schweikert notes that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been advocating this change for more than 20 years, and in a report released this March, found that hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are wasted each year by the continued use of the dollar bill.
According to a Schweikert press release, each year, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces around 4 billion $1 bills — nearly half of all paper currency made. And each year, more than 3 billion of these dollars are pulled from circulation, shredded, and sent to landfills.
He notes that not only are dollar coins recyclable, they have an average circulation of 30 years. “When you do the math, a single dollar coin can do the job of up to 17 dollar bills over the course of its lifetime”.
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