A Penny Saved May Be A Collector’sItem

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WASHINGTON - (07/20/06) – Rep. Jim Kolbe wants to lightenyour load. The Arizona Republican, who is retiring at year-end,wants to rid you of all of your pennies by then. Armed withstatistics that show it costs the U.S. Mint 1.4 cents to produce apenny, Kolbe introduced legislation Wednesday that would eliminateall one-cent pieces, and require all cash transactions to berounded either up or down to the nearest five cents. Non-cashtransactions would not be affected. “The penny has been anuisance for years, but now that the cost of a penny exceeds itsvalue, the landscape of the debate has completely changed,”said Kolbe, who failed in a similar effort five years ago. Usingpennies wastes $20 million a year, said the lawmaker, “soit’s time for us to say that the penny stops here.”Kolbe’s bill, the Currency Overhaul for an Industrious Nation(COIN) Act, would also fold the Bureau of Engraving and Printingand the U.S. Mint into the Federal Reserve, mandate a study onalternative coin compositions, and create a process to replace thedollar bill with a $1 coin.

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