WASHINGTON -- The U.S. would stop printing $1 banknotes and replace them with $1 coins if Congress decides to pass the new Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings Act, or COINS.
COINS was introduced on Sept. 20 by Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), who serves on the House Financial Services Committee. The freshman congressman from Arizona has been the strongest supporter of dollar coins, largely because minting more coins would benefit Arizona's copper mining industry.
But Schweikert emphasized the measure's potential to help reduce the federal deficit. Citing a recent study by the Government Accountability Office, he said replacing dollar bills with dollar coins would save an average of $184 million a year, amounting to at least $5.5 billion over 30 years.
"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," Schweikert said.
The COINS Act is the first positive publicity that dollar coins have received after many months of unfavorable publicity. In March, the U.S. Treasury admitted to storing one billion unwanted dollar coins in a federal vault -- and that stocks are expected to reach two billion in five years. The following month, a California congresswoman introduced a bill that would force the U.S. Mint to stop producing dollar coins in the Presidential series. | SEE STORY
Not long after, the Mint announced it was changing procedures for online consumer purchases of dollar coins in order to stop enterprising citizens from buying the coins in bulk with credit cards to get frequent flyer miles, then turning the coins over to banks rather than spending them and getting them into circulation, as the program was intended to do.