Thursday, April 21, 2016

Congress Abolishes Penny in First Floor Session

Elijah Cummings
The U.S. House of Representatives today voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill to abolish the one-cent penny from American currency. The bill, authored by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), will start phasing out the penny in the next ninety days.

Floor debate over the bill was contentious and divided the majority Republican Party for much of the session. A provision in the bill to replace Thomas Jefferson's image on the five-cent nickel with President Ronald Reagan's proved controversial. Some members supported memorializing the 40th president, while a bipartisan group opposed it in the name of fiscal austerity. An amendment by Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas) removed the Reagan provision from the bill.

President Obama quickly signed the bill upon receiving it from the House, saying it was a long overdue update to the currency system.

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