Congress looks at doing away with the $1 bill

Coins would replace dollar bill

Published On: Nov 30 2012 10:08:20 AM EST
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WASHINGTON -

Americans have shown about as much appetite for the $1 coin as kids do their spinach. They may not know what's best for them either.

Congressional auditors say doing away with dollar bills entirely and replacing them with dollar coins could save taxpayers $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.

Vending machine operators have long championed the use of $1 coins because they don't jam the machines, cutting down on repair costs and lost sales. But most people don't seem to like carrying the coins. In the past five years, the Mint has produced 2.4 billion Presidential $1 coins. Most are in storage, and production was suspended about a year ago.

Lawmakers are also exploring how the Mint could use different metals to reduce the cost of making coins.