Stivers Introduces Cents and Sensibility Act
Dec 15, 2011 -
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steve Stivers (R – OH) today introduced the Cents and Sensibility Act and the STEEL Nickel Act to lower the cost of producing pennies and nickels and to ensure they are minted with steel instead of minerals imported from outside the United States. Representatives Tim Ryan (D – OH) and Pat Tiberi (R – OH) signed on as original co-sponsors of the bipartisan legislation.
“This legislation is a common-sense solution to decrease the cost of minting pennies and nickels,” Stivers said. “Not only will it cost less, but steel is an American resource that we have and can manufacture right here in our backyard.”
Since 2006, due to the rising cost of materials and labor, the manufacturing of some denominations has become unprofitable. Of the coins currently in circulation today, the cost of producing pennies and nickels is greater than the face value of the coins themselves.
Currently, pennies are made of copper and zinc; while nickels are made of copper and nickel. A majority of the copper, zinc and nickel used to make these coins is imported from Canada. The Stivers legislation would require the penny and nickel both be made of American steel moving forward, with the penny being dipped in copper. The appearance of the coins would not change, just the materials to make the coins.
For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, the cost to create a penny was 1.79 cents and the cost to create a nickel was 9.22 cents. According to the House Financial Services Committee, by simply changing the composition of both coins to steel, the United States will save up to $274 million in penny production and $159 million in the production of nickels for a total savings of up to $433 million over 10 years for American taxpayers.
This legislation is endorsed by the American Iron and Steel Institute.
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