The United States has had legislation pass to Congress to achieve these goals, however lobbyists have stopped the legislation from passing to date with the exception of The Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010. This act should result in drastic changes prior to the end of 2012.
Legal Tender Modernization Act [H.R. 2528] – Introduced July 17th, 2001, its main objective was to create a ’rounding system’ to round cash transactions to the nearest 0.05. – Source One, Source Two.
Currency Overhaul for an Industrious Nation (COIN) Act [H.R. 5818] – In July 17th, 2006, it re-introduced a similar legislation bill as the Legal Tender Modernization Act, with its main objective also to create a ’rounding system’ to round cash transactions to the nearest 0.05. – , Source One, Source Two.
Prohibition on the Exportation, Melting, or Treatment of 5-Cent and One-Cent Coins – In 2006/2007 it became illegal to export, melt, or treat pennies and nickels, giving us the hard proof needed that the U.S. government endorses the metal value of the penny and nickel out-weighing the face value to the point of worth hoarding for copper value – Source One, Source Two, Source Three.
Coinage Materials Modernization Act of 2007 – This bill was never made into law and was an attempt to alter coin metal compositions in response to commodity price increases – Source.
The Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010 – Passed December 14th, 2010, it is ‘To provide research and development authority for alternative coinage materials
The maximum deadline for results is two years from the date of the act. These results must include details on recommendations, improved product efficiency, minimizing conversion costs, fraud prevention, a rule of construction. Therefore, it a high probability due to rising commodity costs that major changes to the coinage system (particular attention to the penny and the nickel) will occur before December of 2012 – Source.