On January 7, 2015, Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana introduced a bill in the Senate which seeks to terminate the Presidential Dollar Program. Sen. Vitter has previously introduced identical bills in 2011 and 2013, which had gained little traction.
Back in 2011, the Presidential Dollar Program had come under scrutiny due to the build up of a hoard of more than 1.2 billion excess $1 coins at Federal Reserve Banks. The build up was the result of continued production and distribution to circulation despite limited use in commerce.
In late 2011, the Treasury Department made the decision to suspend production of Presidential Dollars for circulation. Starting in 2012, new issues of the series have only been minted in the limited quantities necessary to meet the demand of collectors. These coins have been distributed by the Mint directly to collectors in rolls, bags, or box quantities at prices which reflect a premium to the face value of the coins.
As it stands, the Presidential Dollar Program currently sees limited production, distribution at a premium to face value, and is scheduled to reach its natural conclusion in 2016. Nonetheless, the new bill S. 95 makes a third attempt to terminate the program.
Specifically, the bill would amend Section 5112 of title 31 of the United States Code to strike subsection (n), which authorizes the Presidential Dollar Program.
The initial version of the bill introduced in the 112th Congress had garnered 7 cosponsors, but died in committee. The first re-introduced version of the bill in the 113th Congress had no cosponsors and also died in committee. The latest re-introduced version of the bill in the 114th Congress has no cosponsors and has been referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.