Congress needs to save cash

It might not happen often, but then once is too often. Believe it or not, some merchants don’t accept cash. Go figure.

The American greenback has been welcome around the world for decades because it is solid currency. Yet, in our own country – today – American money is not good enough for some in business.

There oughta be a law.

And there could be soon. A bipartisan bill introduced last week by our own Sen. Kevin Cramer and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ called the Payment Choice Act would see to that.

According to Cramer’s office, the bill would “protect customers’ freedom to choose how to pay for goods or services by prohibiting businesses from refusing to accept cash, posting signs that cash is not accepted, or charging a higher price for using cash.”

Not accepting credit or debit cards, personal checks, or two-party checks is understandable. But the use of our legal tender must be protected – and those who rely on it.

“Businesses who prohibit cash payments discriminate against the millions of Americans who do not have bank accounts while forcing customers to exclusively use a less secure form of payment,” said Senator Cramer. “Our legislation protects people’s right to choose their preferred currency and ensures the money we print remains usable as legal tender for all debts, just as it says.”

Sen. Menendez: “While I fully understand that businesses have expanded their contactless payment options during the pandemic, refusing cash discriminates against certain populations and denies people equal access to the same goods or services. The truth is: not everyone carries a credit card or uses cashless apps, and customers paying with cash – legal tender printed and backed by the U.S. Treasury – should not be denied goods or services.”

According to the Federal Reserve, six percent of Americans are unbanked and 16 percent of Americans are underbanked. Cash represents up to 30 percent of all transactions and 55 percent of transactions under $10.

Clearly, passing the Payment Choice Act is essential.


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