Sununu presidential coin effort gains

A move to mint a new $1 coin honoring America’s presidents that is being spearheaded by Senator John E. Sununu is picking up steam on Capitol Hill.

The U.S. Senate on Nov. 18 approved the legislation, which was introduced by the New Hampshire Republican and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.

The measure, S. 1047 – the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 — calls for placing the images of U.S. presidents on a new $1 coin.

“An easy-to-use $1 coin will help bring much-needed efficiencies to the millions of low-dollar transactions that occur each day in our country. By making these exchanges more efficient with an easy-to-use $1 coin, businesses and consumers stand to reap enormous savings,” said Sununu. “In addition to its economic benefits, the $1 coin is a valuable educational tool – much like the 50-state quarter series – that will help inspire interest in the history of the leaders of our country.”

Specifically, the legislation places the images of four U.S. presidents on the dollar coin each year, in the order of their service, until all are so honored, starting in 2007.

The coin will feature the Statue of Liberty on the reverse side and provides for the Sacagawea coin to continue to be issued during the Presidential Coin Program. Upon termination of the program, all $1 coins will revert to the Sacagawea design.

The measure also requires the federal government to use the dollar coin in all of its retail operations.

Earlier this year, the House approved H.R. 902, a version of the “Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005” introduced by Rep. Mike Castle, R.-Del., by a 422-6 vote earlier this year. – JEFF FEINGOLD

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