Stivers reintroduces bill to reduce cost of minting coins

Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) last week reintroduced the Cents and Sensibility Act, legislation that would lower the cost of minting pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.

The bill, supported by members from both parties, would mandate the use of steel in the production of coins, eliminating the need for minerals that are imported from outside of the United States. 

“This legislation is a common-sense solution to lower the cost of minting our coins,” Stivers said. “Not only will it cost less to produce, but it will also allow us to use an American resource – steel – that can be manufactured right here in our backyard.”

Today, pennies are produced with copper and zinc, while quarters, nickels and dimes contain copper and nickel. Most of the copper, zinc and nickel required to mint these coins is imported from Canada. The rising costs of these materials and the minting process has become a concern, as pennies and nickels actually cost more than their face value to produce.

Under Stivers’ proposal, all four coins would be minted from American steel, with the penny being dipped in copper. Research has shown this process could save the U.S. government up to $2 billion in material costs over a 10-year period. 

Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH) have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, which has received a full endorsement from the American Iron and Steel Institute.