WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees has formally joined the Dollar Coin Alliance (DCA), a coalition of small businesses, budget watchdogs, transit agencies and labor groups. DCA is currently supporting legislation in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate to transition to the economical $1 coin.
AFGE is the largest federal employee union, representing 625,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas. Workers in virtually all functions of government depend upon AFGE for legal representation, legislative advocacy, technical expertise and informational services.
“On behalf of the Dollar Coin Alliance I want to welcome AFGE and its union members to our coalition,” said former Congressman Jim Kolbe, honorary chairman of the Dollar Coin Alliance. “It is not often in Washington that businesses and unions support the same legislation, but that just goes to show that Congress needs to pass this common sense policy.”
The Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings (COINS) Act (S. 2049), is designed to save the country billions of dollars by eliminating the wasteful, inefficient $1 note. The COINS Act was introduced earlier this year by a bipartisan group including Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.). The COINS Act would require Federal Reserve Banks to stop issuing the $1 note four years after enactment of the legislation or when circulation of $1 coins exceeds 600 million annually – whichever comes first. The companion bill to the COINS Act in the House was introduced by Congressman David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) with the bipartisan support of fourteen co-sponsors.
“AFGE has always been very serious about providing good government services to the American taxpayer,” said Beth Moten, AFGE Legislative and Political Director. “Transitioning to the $1 coin is a good step in the right direction to a modern, efficient system of currency. All of this is done without cutting valuable government programs or raising taxes on working people.”
Recent studies conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that found the $1 coin transition would save the country at least $4.4 billion over a 30-year period, or $146 million per year. This finding is consistent with five previous studies issued by GAO over the past 22 years (in 1990, 1993, 1995, 2000, and 2011) indicating savings of anywhere from $184 million to $522 million per year.
Other members of the Dollar Coin Alliance include Citizens Against Government Waste, the International Association of Machinists, the National Bulk Vendors Association, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Tri-State Automatic Merchandising Council and United Steelworkers.
For more information, or to get involved, please visit www.DollarCoinAlliance.org.