Treasury Secretary Hints Women Might Appear on More Than the $10 Bill

United States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sat down with CBS This Morning co-anchor Norah O’Donnell on Wednesday for an interview regarding several issues — most notably the news over the summer that the Treasury was planning to add a woman to U.S. currency.

When O’Donnell noted, “You said there’s going to be a woman on the $10 bill,” Lew responded, “What I said is that we’re going to put a woman on our currency. We’re looking at the $10 bill as the next bill we’re going to be issuing. And we have spent the summer listening to the American people. And I have to say I’m really pleased how many people we’ve heard from.”

Lew remained noncommittal as to whether the Treasury would go through with the proposed idea, but he did elaborate on the concept that the ever evolving nature of hard currency lends itself to the possibility for change. “What I’m saying is when we look at the series of bills that will come out with new security features,” Lew said. “Our fundamental responsibility is to make sure our money is safe and that it can’t be counterfeited easily.”

The secretary then cited one specific area of our money with the potential for the most change: “One of the things that has come out of this conversation is that very few people know what’s on the back of any of our bills.” O’Donnell asked, “So you’re going to put women on the back of a bill?” Lew answered, “I’m saying we’re going to tell the story of American democracy as we unveil the new series of bills, and women will be a prominent part of that.”

One can expect there to be consternation if it comes to pass that women aren’t featured prominently on the face of U.S. currency and are instead relegated to the back, but for now the Treasury’s plans can only be speculated on. At the interview’s end, O’Donnell said, “That’s kind of a big deal, right, that they’re not only looking to the front of the $10 bill, the $5 bill, and other currency, but the back and whether they can put images of women on the back.”

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