Harkin and McCain penned The Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings (COINS) Act in response to reports from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) that indicate that abandoning the note could save around $5.5 billion over the next 30 years. Specifically the COINS Act would require that Federal Reserve Banks discontinue the $1 note four years after enactment or once circulation of $1 coins exceeds 600 million annually.
Although Americans have historically been resistant to adopting a $1 coin, McCain suggested in a press release that the deep deficit requires the government to save wherever possible.
“By moving from the costly dollar bill to the dollar coin, we can save real money and show the American taxpayer that we are serious about cutting spending in Washington,” said McCain.
Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass) and John Kerry (D-Mass.), late last year also introduced competing legislation, the Currency Efficiency Act that would protect the paper dollar from what the senators call a “massive overproduction” of the “unpopular $1 coin.”