Rep. Schweikert Introduces Legislation to Phase Out $1 Bill

By on September 21, 2011 in News

Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), a member of the House Financial Services Committee and the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, has introduced a bill to reduce the deficit by billions by phasing out the $1 bill. The 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.

“Protecting taxpayer dollars has never been more critical. One area where Americans may be surprised to learn we can save money is in our currency. 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.

“Washington needs to learn to save money to save our future for our children and grandchildren. The COINS Act is a responsible way to trim our bloated deficit, and I encourage all of my colleagues to support this cost-saving legislation.”



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.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been advocating this change for more than 20 years, and in its latest report released this March, it found that hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are wasted each year by the continued use of the dollar bill.

By making the switch, it is estimated that the government would save an average of $184 million a year, a conservative $5.5 billion over 30 years.



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.  That is nearly 15.2 million pounds of paper currency every year.

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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43 Replies

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  1. dk7245 says:

    They always talk about saving money, hell they will find some other pet project to spend the $184 million a year on. I agree with others on here, I don’t want to carry around a pocket fun of coins I hate carrying change around now, I dump it in a bowl when I get home.

  2. CoTapper says:


  3. Joe says:

    Rep. David Schweikert, wake up, go to the bathroom, and go back to sleep. $184 million a year? You want to save money? Start cutting your perks, start paying for your own insurance like the rest of us, and  give yourself a regular retirement package like the rest of us get. In other words live like the most of us do before you waste my time and money on your fantasies. Concentrate on your borders before you worry about the paper in my pocket.

  4. ChiTechie says:

    The federal reserve is paying $600,000 a year to guard $1+ billion in coins that the banks have returned because no one wants them.  The US mint continues to produce the presidential dollar coins that no one is collecting.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to stop producing the coins until the stockpile of coins in storage have been distributed? Of course, it would take an act of Congress, since they’re the ones that directed the production of the dollar coins in the first place.

  5. Walldevil says:


  6. NoDonkey says:

    This was done in the Euro zone years ago and makes complete sense. 

    It is ridiculous that we waste money on dollar bills, especially when it’s getting easier and easier to use electronic means of payment. 

  7. MisterBill says:

    He’s trying to find ways to save money. There are significant savings here and he should be commended for introducing the bill. And he doesn’t even take into account all the money we are wasting storing the dollar coins which have been minted.

  8. SDC says:

    Wow, well those are some negative comments!  Discontinuing printing of $1 bills and changing to coins would be a fiscally responsible action.  Yes, there are important issues facing our country.  One of them happens to be financial difficulties, so any reasonable action that would save the government money should be considered and not discounted simply because coins are heavy in your pocket.  Once we finally join the rest of the western world and stop making  small denomination bills, those of you that don’t want to carry a pocketful of coins… trade them in for $5 bills.

  9. JB399 says:

    This guy has nothing better to do then worry about weather we have a $1.00 bill or not.  With all that is wrong with our country this is all you can thing about……..  WOW  I understand why are country is in the trouble it is in. 

  10. Richard Jefferson says:

    I was living in Scotland in the 1980’s when England did away with the one pound note and switched to a one pound coin. Big failure. You ended up carrying around more coins, which made the packets/purse heavy. Men’s trouser pockets began to pull apart from the extra weight. Now the Bank of Scotland did a booming business since they continued to print and issue paper notes.

  11. PTParks says:

    I’d rather see them go after the penny.  Businesses should be more than willing to round up 1 to 4 cents to have the price of an item come out to the next nickle/dime.  I’d be happy not to have to put up with a pocket full of pennies.  With the price of copper these days why not?

  12. C BREWER says:

    If your going to get rid of any thing dispose of the penny

    • jb399 says:

      How about getting ride of the senators and congressmen…….  stop their pay and free beneies….  that would save tons!!!

  13. vgs0028 says:

    I had $1 coins they are bulky and tear holes in my pants pockets that’s why levi jeans were developed with brads on the hip pockets so they could carry pieces of raw gold ore.

  14. armyworm says:

    How’s about we phase out Rep. David Schweikert’s job.  There instant savings of at least $100K

  15. mkh says:

    How Dumb!! Doesn’t our Govt. have anything better to do??  No one wants to carry coins!!  IF IT WORKS, DON’T MESS WITH IT!!  Why is this Rep. proposing this when there are bigger issues on the table in America.  Everyone needs to bombard this person, especially those in Arizona, with letters, emails, and phone calls and tell them to stop messing with American’s lives and stop creating problems just to try to fix them and make them worse!!

  16. HelpUs says:

    We can switch to a bartering system and rid ourselves of all currency. Imagine the savings. The American people have to begin to put some thought into their voting. His constituents should be embarassed; with that said, Rep. Schweikert will most likely enjoy a leisurely re-election.

  17. Pvoorheis says:

    The government cannot burn old money (bio-hazard), the life of a paper bill is 6 yrs, the life of a coin is indefinite, old money must be shredded and buried in bio land fills, SOOOO, what makes more sense than to get rid of $1 and $2 paper bills…it took Canada several tries and they have succeded….So the way we operate it would seem that we will NEVER get rid of paper 1’s, 2’s and some 5’s.  It is a BIG cost savings to do this!!!  Folks its time we get on the ball and do this…..

  18. Andy says:

    Best idea I have seen out of Congress in years.

  19. Gwen says:

    I am getting old, but if memory serves me right didn’t we put 1 dollar coins out 2 or 3 times before?  People kept getting them mixed up with quarters and such stuff. They did not go over to well.  I go to meetings where we put 1 dollar in the plate for charity.  That is going to get very heavy when our secretary takes it to the bank for deposit.  Also I do not want to carry all that weight in my purse.  I have enough problems with my back.  I use my debit card a lot of the times also, this is for purchases.  Thanks for listening

    • Illyria says:

      You’ve hit the nail on the head!  The newer dollar coins (starting with the “Susie”) have been failures because they a not dollar-sized.  The goldtone plating didn’t help because it comes off too easily.  I know plenty of people (I’m one) who’d use dollar coins, if they were the proper size.
      You do make a good historical point:  paper money was invented so large sums could be easily transported.  I’d prefer coins, but I don’t have to move alot of money at any given time.

      • MisterBill says:

        And when they make them bigger, people complain that they’re too big (see the post below from the guy with heavy pockets). They did a lot of studies to find the correct size/edge and then they release them and people who don’t want to use them find excuses why they are bad.

        • Guest says:

          These days, folks probably would complain about dollar-size coins.  When we used to have them, I never heard any complaints…..probably because we were just happy to have money at all!

    • Ironranger says:

      Here, here. My back is also giving out. I would rather carry $20 in bills, than $20 in coins in my pocket. I already list to one side while walking. Maybe if I put my change in my other pocket, I would start leaning to the other side. 🙂

  20. USA Jobs for Americans says:

    Is this the best he
    can come up with?   Instead of “WASTING”
    time on this stupid idea, where is the legislation by Congress to C R E A T
    E  JOBS? 
    Why isn’t Congress putting American people back to work?   What is going to happen to all those
    millions of people who Unemployment Benefits run out at the end of this
    year?   Are we going to end up in a ‘state
    of emergency’ survival mode?  OMG,  we are in big doo-doo!

    • Govguy says:

      Unless we’re at war (war contracts), the government doesn’t really create jobs. Private industry does. The government can and should create tax incentives for businesses to hire, however.

      • NorthEast Fed says:

        The Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) was created by the
        US Govt to put Americans to work during the 1930 & 1940’s.    Maybe it’s time to consider another look to the past for an answer. 

        After all, Millions of American people will be without a source of income once the emergency employment benefits run out at the end of the year.  Why not have them earn pay through a program simular to this?  It’s better than nothing at all; waiting for the Banks to Loan money that they are holding onto or wait for an economical recovery than can take several months or even years. 

        Basic survival:  How do you feed your family when there is NO JOB, NO PAYCHECK and the Benefits expire?      Robbery?  Somebody in DC needs to be thinking way ahead about this whole mess….. Short Term & Long Term;  Somebody – Anybody….


  21. $15300432 says:

    Really Really with all the problems this country has your wasting the taxpayers time on silliness

  22. Sirmunster says:

    I am all for it

  23. Rollo the bear says:

    How can I get dollar coins?  I have never received one as change, or from a bank.

  24. Get Real says:

    Coins are you kidding me.  How about eliminating the penny and the nickel, which actually cost more to produce than their value.  Get real!

    • Donna Odowd says:

      You can’t eliminate the penny!!  How would you buy, or get change for, something that is $1.23 if there is no penny?

      • NoDonkey says:

        In overseas military commissaries and base exchanges the penny was eliminated years ago.  They just round up or round down.  It’s far more convenient, who wants a bunch of pennies jingling around? 

  25. Big E says:

    What they are not saying in the article is that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is Non-Appropriated. No tax dollars used to produce paper curency. They charge the Fed reserve which the get the money from banks. The Mint however is appropriated and operates on tax payer money. That’s why there are trailers full of dollar coins that the public doesn’t want. Where’s the waste? Plus the Rep that is pushing this is from Arizona where they mine the matterials to make coins. Paper curency is linen. Pratically no enviromental impact.

    • IT GUY II says:

      Both the U.S. Mint and the BEP are profit making bureaus. After manufacturing the money, it is sold at face value to the Federal Reserve for distribution to member banks and then to the public. The difference between the face value of the money and the cost to manufacture the money is the profit—called seigniorage. Even though the one cent and five cent coins cost more to manufacture than their face value, the U.S. Mint continues to generate profit from the sale of all coins sold to the Federal Reserve in addition to the sales of bullion and collectible coins.

      • Retired IRS says:

        The US Mint does a great job. We have some of the most interesting coins in the world. The American Gold Eagle Coin is perhaps the most beautiful coin in the world. On the other hard, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces some of the most boring bank notes in the world.

      • Fred says:

        This is incorrect.  The Private Federal Reserve Banks Purchases bills from the public Bureau of Engraving and Printing at cost, Seigniorage going to the banks.  The Fed purchases Coin at face value from the Government and the Government (we) get the seigniorage.  This is why the banks want dollar bills, they make money off of them (about $0.96 profit in a bankers pocket per $1 bill), whereas every time you take a $1 coint $0.68 pays the national debt.  So if you want to pay down the debt, without paying taxes it’s in your interest to use coin.

    • Retired IRS says:

      Big E, there are no free lunches. We the taxpayers end up paying for the dollar bills which cost a great deal more in the long run than dollar coins. Let’s join the rest of the world and abolish $1 bills and use coins. Myself, I rarely touch money.  These days almost all of my transactions are by debit card.