U.S. Senators Mike Enzi of Wyoming and John McCain of Arizona reintroduced the COINS Act last week, pushing to replace the dollar bill with a coin. The legislation would also create a cheaper process for producing nickels and eliminate the penny, which the treasury has said costs more than it is worth.
Proponents of these changes say they will add billions of dollars to the federal budget. Similar bills have failed in multiple recent sessions, but Press Secretary Max D’Onofrio said Enzi sees the bill as a tool to reduce the deficit.
“The best way to do it is to make cuts that don’t have as large of an impact on individuals,” D’Onofrio said. “And here’s a way to save a significant amount of money by switching to a dollar coin, and that seems like a common sense change.”
Several studies have predicted that a switch to coins would mean more federal money. Coins are more durable, but more expensive to produce. But since Americans tend to leave coins lying around instead of using them, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated that three coins would have to be produced to replace every two bills. Since the U.S. Treasury earns profit from producing the coins, the switch would result in more revenue.