Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is expected to announce the changes on Wednesday after receiving fierce blowback.
(Politico) – Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Wednesday will announce plans to both keep Alexander Hamilton on the front of the $10 bill and to knock Andrew Jackson off the front of the $20 in favor of Harriet Tubman, sources tell POLITICO.
Lew is expected to roll out a set of changes that also include putting leaders of the women’s suffrage movement on the back of the $10 bill, and incorporating civil rights era leaders and other important moments in American history into the $5 bill.
Also, Jackson isn’t getting completely booted off the $20 bill. He’s likely to remain on the back.
Lew’s reversal comes after he announced last summer that he was considering replacing Hamilton on the $10 bill with a woman. The plan drew swift rebukes from fans of Hamilton, who helped create the Treasury Department and the modern American financial system. Critics immediately suggested Lew take Jackson off the $20 bill given the former president’s role in moving Native Americans off their land.
Lew told POLITICO last July that Treasury was exploring ways to respond to critics. “There are a number of options of how we can resolve this,” Lew said. “We’re not taking Alexander Hamilton off our currency.”
Supporters of putting a woman on the $10 bill have complained that it will take too long to put a woman on the $20 bill. But people familiar with the matter said new designs for the bills should be ready by 2020. Treasury is likely to ask the Federal Reserve, which makes the final decision, to speed the process and get the bills into circulation as quickly as possible.
The movement to keep Hamilton on the $10 bill gathered strength after the Broadway musical named after the former Treasury Secretary and founding father became a runaway smash hit.
“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda even directly lobbied Lew last month on Hamilton’s behalf, after which Miranda said Lew told him “you’re going to be very happy” with the redesign plan.
Reaction to Tubman, a Civil War-era abolitionist, replacing Jackson on the front of the $20 was widely positive. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) tweeted: “If this is true, great news! Tubman on $20 is the right call. The redesign needs to happen as soon as possible. Women have waited long enough.”
CNN reported over the weekend that Hamilton would stay on the $10 bill.