House members seek to pass buck for $1 coin

March 11, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

WASHINGTON -- Concerned about the cost of printing $1 bills, some budget-cutters in the nation's capital are advocating change: replacing the dollar bill with a gold-colored dollar coin.

The switch might be unpopular, but a durable dollar coin could save the country up to $400 million a year.

More than 100 members of the House are expected to co-sponsor a bill for the dollar coin.

Threatening to stop the buck is a coin a little bigger than a quarter. Under the House plan, George Washington's visage would give way to a design honoring veterans.

A $1 note costs about 3.5 cents to print and lasts about 17 months. A coin costs twice as much to mint, but lasts 25 to 30 years. Over five years, the savings would be $1.05 billion, the Congressional Budget Office says.

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