Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Cancel the Coin Act to prohibit the Treasury Secretary from minting a trillion-dollar platinum coin. Federal law does not currently limit the quantity or the individual face value of platinum coins the Treasury could mint and issue. Some view this as permission for the Treasury to mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin, or an unspecified number of platinum coins capped at $200, to issue debt to finance government debt obligations and operations.
This loophole could allow the Secretary of the Treasury to bypass the debt ceiling. With an impending standoff, calls for minting a trillion-dollar have surfaced again. Rather than face difficult conversations about runaway spending, members of the public and even some Members of Congress have called for the President to bypass the legislative branch entirely by minting a trillion-dollar coin.
Sen. Lee’s legislation would cap the maximum coin value the Secretary can mint or issue at $200. This generous cap would give the Secretary continued leeway to produce unique or commemorative coins that collectors value without undermining the careful separation of powers established by our Founders. Additionally, the legislation would prohibit the Federal Reserve from accepting deposits of platinum coins for the Treasury’s account.
“Minting a trillion-dollar platinum coin would not only be dangerously inflationary, but it would effectively circumvent Congress’s constitutionally mandated duty to manage the purse strings,” said Sen. Lee. “My legislation will remove any potential escape route for an administration that doesn’t want to have a candid conversation about our out-of-control spending.”
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