Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) today introduced the USA Act, legislation that would implement recommendations included in the Government Accountability Office’s annual duplication report to reduce waste and create efficiencies throughout the federal government. One of the key savings in this legislation would be the replacement of the dollar bill with the more sustainable and efficient dollar coin, which is estimated to generate at least $4.4 billion and up to $13.8 billion in taxpayer savings.

“I hear from Arizonans every day who are tired of seeing their limited tax dollars spent on wasteful government programs,” said Senator McCain. “By reforming and modernizing America’s outdated currency system, and moving forward with commonsense good government practices, this bill would enable our country to reduce unnecessary bureaucratic waste and generate billions in taxpayer savings. 

“If you keep on doing what you’ve always been doing then you are going to keep getting what you have. What we have in our country is a huge debt. We need to make changes and this bill contains some effective ones,” said Senator Enzi. “Senator McCain has long been an advocate for practical solutions to government overspending and I am pleased to join him on this bill. Overspending has put us in a deep hole. Changing to a dollar coin is one more rung on the ladder up.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) also endorsed the legislation today:

“The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste has long supported many of the cost-cutting provisions in the USA Act,” said Tom Schatz, president of CAGW. “In particular, the sooner the switch to the $1 coin is made, the sooner the U.S. will start amassing billions of dollars in savings while catching up with the currency policies of our international trading partners. At a time when the national debt exceeds $18 trillion, it is time for Congress to take action and pass the USA Act without delay.”

In addition to the at least $4.4 billion saved by moving from the dollar bill to the dollar coin, the USA Act includes provisions that would promote competition in federal contracts to reduce expenses; improve the management of federal real property including the expedited sale and disposal of excess and surplus federal real property; reduce duplication in information technology to eliminate waste; and require the Treasury Department to spend less on printing money than value of the money being printed.

A summary of the legislation is here.