As it exists in its shiny copper and zinc state, the penny costs more to produce than it's actually worth. The rise in prices of such metal commodities has initiated conversations in Congress about reverting to the steel penny used during World War II. The future of the nickel's composition is also in question as it currently costs 7.7 cents to make, while the penny's cost is 1.26 cents.
It's estimated that the coins set taxpayers back $100 million just last year, which is why on Tuesday the House debated a bill that would prompt the Treasury to come up with nickels and pennies that are more economical. A vote on the bill is expected to take place later in the week. In case you're curious, the Mint says that the dime costs a little over 4 cents to make, the quarter costs almost 10 cents, and the dollar coin costs about 16 cents to produce.