Democratic rep introduces bill to ban cashless businesses nationwide

Democratic rep introduces bill to ban cashless businesses nationwide
© Greg Nash

A Democratic congressman introduced legislation Thursday that would require businesses nationwide to accept cash.

Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats MORE (D-R.I.) introduced the Cash Buyer Discrimination Act, citing concerns that cashless businesses discriminate against customers who do not have access to a credit card.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation data indicate that 8.4 million American households do not have a bank account and 32 million households, largely the working class, do not use a credit card, Cicilline said in a statement.


"The American people want Congress to work for working people. This is a commonsense way to do that," said Cicilline. "25% Americans don't have credit cards. Yet, more and more businesses are refusing to serve customers who want to pay in cash. This bill will protect the economic freedom and opportunity of millions of working people."

The bill defines “retailers” broadly enough to include shops, gas stations and health care services, according to Cicilline.

Massachusetts and New Jersey have already outlawed the practice, as has the city of Philadelphia. On Tuesday, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted 11-0 to approve a measure outlawing the practice as well. The San Francisco bill exempts several kinds of business, including temporary pop-ups, ride-share companies, online businesses and as food trucks, which say they do not have the resources to handle cash. Cicilline’s statement on his legislation does not specify any such exemptions, and his office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.