Republican senators reintroduce bill to end penny production, move to dollar coin

McCain: Moves could save $16 billion

Two Republican senators are reintroducing legislation that would eliminate production of the one-cent coin and replace the dollar bill with a coin.

The Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings Act of 2017 (COINS Act) by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., calls for modernizing American currency by reducing the cost of producing nickels and suspending the minting of the penny for 10 years, which costs more than one cent to produce, according to a news release on McCain’s website.

The bill says enough pennies have already been minted to meet demand. A few pennies would still be minted to meet the needs of coin collectors. One dollar bills would stop being created two years after the bill passes.

The bill also calls for a study conducted after three years to determine whether to discontinue penny production permanently.

In the news release, McCain says the bill could save taxpayers $16 billion.

A 2012 report by the nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office found that replacing $1 bills with $1 coins would save $4.4 billion over 30 years.

The full bill is available on McCain’s website .