Americans for Common Cents (ACC) conducts research and provides information to Congress and the Executive Branch on the value and benefits of the penny.

October 24, 2018

Congressional Action

Congressional Action

 

LEGISLATIVE TIMELINE

2016 to 2020

  • 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.

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