2021 to 2025
- June 7, 2021, Tennessee Congressional delegation sends letter to Mint Director David Ryder requesting an analysis comparing steel versus the current copper-platted zinc (CPZ) material for the penny based on the Mint’s 2020 Biennial Report to Congress stating there are incremental savings with a steel penny. On June 23, 2021 the Mint responded that they could not provide the cost analysis as requested. Director Ryder said the Mint’s research was in “early stages”, and that they have only done “small-scale testing” and “initial feasibility” which will continue in 2021 and that a “full cost comparison is not yet available.”
- October 14, 2021, House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations legislative hearing entitled: “Cashed Out: How a Cashless Economy Impacts Disadvantaged Communities and Peoples.” The hearing covered several issues of interest including: (1) Cashless Economy; (2) Digital Currencies; (3) Underbanked and Unbanked Individuals; and (4) Rural Communities.
- Members of Congress members introduced legislation in the House (H.R. 2650) and Senate (S. 983) on June 14, 2023 to ban businesses from rejecting cash for in-person retail purchases. The bipartisan bills revive prior proposals. The bills were introduced in the House by Reps. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) and John Rose (R-Tenn.), and in the Senate, by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.). They are designed to protect Americans who are unbanked and underbanked and who rely on cash to pay for necessities, as well as to preserve the right of consumers to choose to pay with cash.
- The House of Representatives passed Representative Don Payne’s (D-NJ) bipartisan Payment Choice Act on June 15, 2022 as part of H.R. 2543, the Financial Services Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Economic Justice Act. The Payne legislation, originally H.R. 4395, protects the right to pay in cash at retail establishments for transactions under $2,000. The Payne bill, which at the time of passage had 49 cosponsors, was adopted on a vote of 224 to 198.
- Representative Donald Payne (D-NJ) introduced the Payment Choice Act of 2021 -H.R. 4395- on May 18. The bill requires retail businesses to accept cash as a form of payment for sales in amounts less than $2,000, and it prohibits them from charging cash-paying customers a higher price compared to customers not paying with cash. Senate companion legislation – S. 4497 – was introduced by Senator Bob Menendez on June 23, 2022.
2016 to 2020
- December 2, 2020, the House of Representatives approves H.R. 7995, the “Coin Metal Modification Authorization and Cost Savings Act of 2020” to allow the Mint to change the composition of coins if it reduces costs and is seamless, which is determined by verifying that the coins will work interchangeably in most coin acceptors using electromagnetic signature technology. The legislation stalls in the Senate.
- August 11, 2020, Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV) introduces H.R. 7995 the “Coin Metal Modification Authorization and Cost Savings Act of 2020” to authorize changes to the composition of circulating coins.
- July 1, 2020, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduces the Senate version of the Payment Choice Act to require cash be accepted in retail transactions.
- June 18, 2020, Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduces S. 4006 the “Coin Metal Modification Authorization and Cost Savings Act of 2020,” that authorizes the U.S. Mint to modify the metallic composition of circulating coins if the modification would reduce costs.
- January 30, 2020 House Financial Services Task Force Financial Technology hearing on the question “Is Cash Still King? Reviewing the Rise in Mobile Payments,” statement of ACC Executive Director Mark Weller
- June 12, 2019, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduces S. 1794 the “Currency Evolution Now to Save (CENTS) Act which authorizes Treasury to prescribe different coin materials if minting costs are reduced.
- May 9, 2019, Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ) introduces H.R. 2650 “The Payment Choice Act of 2019” to prohibit retail businesses from refusing cash payments.
- September 5, 2018: House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Trade hearing entitled the entitled “The Future of Money: Coins and Banknotes.”
- May 2, 2017: Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-NY) introduces H.R. 2299 the House version of the Currency Optimization and National Savings (COINS) Act of 2017
- March 29, 2017: Senator John McCain (R-NY) introduces S. 759 the Currency Optimization and National Savings (COINS) Act of 2017 ) to replace $1 notes with the $1 coin, change the composition of the five cent coin to 80% copper, and eliminate the penny.
2011 to 2015
- July 31, 2015: Congressman Robert Pittenger (R-NC) introduces H.R. 3300 the United Savings and Accountability Act (USA Act) which among other things states the US cannot mint a coin if it costs more to produce than its face value.
- April 24, 2013: Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) introduces H.R. 1719 the Cents and Sensibility Act to mandate all circulating coins be made of plated steel.
- November 29, 2012: Statement by Mark Weller on the “Future of Money: Dollars and Sense” before the House Finacial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology
- April 17, 2012: House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology hearing on the “The Future of Money: Coin Production.” Rodney Bosco of Navigant Consulting testifies on the impact of government savings if penny production ceases (Rodney Bosco Testimony).
- December 16, 2011: Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) introduces H.R 3693 (Cents and Sensibility Act) and H.R. 3694 (Saving Taxpayer Expenditures by Employing Less Imported Nickel Act- STEEL Nickel Act) to change the metallic content of the one-cent and five cent coins to steel.
2006 to 2010
- December 14, 2010: President Obama enacts the “Coin Modernization, Oversight & Continuity Act of 2010,” requiring a Treasury report on possible new metallic coin materials.
- September 22, 2010, Congressman Mel Watt (D-NC) introduces the “Coin Modernization, Oversight & Continuity Act of 2010, requiring a Treasury report on possible new metallic coin materials. Became Public Law 111-302.
- July 20, 2010: House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology hearing on “The State of U.S. Coins and Currency”
- May 8, 2008: House Passes legislation requiring the one-cent and five-cent coins to be produced primarily of steel; Treasury report on possible new metallic materials (H.R. 5512) the “Coin Modernization and Taxpayer Savings Act of 2008.” No Senate action taken.
- November 1, 2007: Congressman Roskam (R-IL) introduces the “Cents and Sensibility Act ,” legislation to alter the metallic composition of the one-cent coin to copper plated steel.
- October 31, 2007: Anticipating a House Financial Services Committee mark-up, Congressman Lucas (R-OK) files an amendment to end penny production.
- October 31, 2007: House Financial Services Committee mark-up of H.R. 3956 postponed due to concerns about reversal of the melting ban and the shift of authority to the Mint from Congress for determining coin content. Instead of a bill mark-up, a hearing is scheduled for November.
- October 24, 2007: Congressman Space introduces H.R. 3956 , the “Coinage Efficiency Act of 2007,” that combines his bill to overturn the ban on melting coins (H.R. 3917) and the Gutierrez-Frank metal content bill (H.R. 3330).
- October 22, 2007: Congressman Space (D-OH) introduces H.R. 3917 to overturn the Mint ban on melting one-cent and five-cent coins.
- August 3, 2007: At the request of the Mint, Senator Allard (R-CO) introduces S. 1986 , the Coin Materials Modernization Act of 2007, Senate companion legislation to give the Mint authority to update the metallic content of coins.
- August 3, 2007: At the request of the Mint, Congressmen Gutierrez (D-IL) and Frank (D-MA) introduce H.R. 3330 , the “Coin Materials Modernization Act of 2007,” legislation to give the Mint authority update the metallic content of coins.
- December 2006: Mint regulation prohibits melting of coins.
- July 17, 2006, Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) introduces the “Currency Overhaul for an Industrious Nation (COIN) Act,” (H.R.5818) to require the rounding of cash transactions to the nearest 5 cents.
2001 to 2005
- December 22, 2005, President Bush signs the “Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005;” Title III honors the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth with four new penny designs. The designs depict different aspects of our 16th President’s life on the reverse or “tails” side of the coin.
- July 17, 2001, Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) introduces the Legal Tender Modernization Act of 2001 (H.R. 2528), requires production of a two-dollar note and rounding of cash transactions to the nearest nickel.
1989 to 2000
- November 20, 1989, Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) introduces the Price Rounding Act of 1989 (H.R. 3761) to eliminate the penny in cash transactions and require rounding of prices to the nearest five cents.
- June 20, 1989, Senate Banking Committee hearing on S. 814. Penn State economist Raymond Lombra testifies on the economic impact of penny elimination.
- April 17, 1989, Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) introduces the “United States Coinage Reform Act of 1989,” (S. 814) to place into circulation $1 coins and conduct a study of phasing out production of one-cent and five-cent coins.
- February 22, 1989, Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) introduces the “United States Coinage Reform Act of 1989,” (H.R. 1068) that requires a $1 coin of an least 90% copper and a study of phasing out the one-cent and 50-cent coins.
- 2012 Navigant Consulting Report: Impact Of Eliminating The Penny On The United States Mint’s Costs And Profit in Fiscal Year 2011.
- 2012 Navigant Consulting Report: Potential Benefits To The United States Mint From Changing The Metallic Content Of Its Vended Coins To Multi-Ply Plated Steel.
- 2010 Statement by Mark Weller on The State of U.S. Coins and Currency before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology
- 2008 Letter to Rep. Barney Frank from the U.S. Mint opposing HR 5512
- 2008 Statement by Albert Giles, President, Jarden Zinc Products, on HR 5512 before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology
- 2006 Kolbe bill (H.R. 5818)
- 2005 Penny redesign law to honor Lincoln in 2009
- 2001 ACC Remarks on the Kolbe bill (H.R. 2528)
- 2001 Open letter in opposition to the Kolbe bill (HR 2528) — Eliminating the Penny: Pound Foolish!