Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Wednesday that the whole "series" of seven different U.S. paper currency denominations will be redesigned, not just the $10 bill that's being set aside for the image of a woman prominent in U.S. history.
What's more, he said that some 1.5 million Americans have weighed in and the overwhelming suggestion has been to display "ideas" on the $1, $2, $5, $10, $20 and $50, not buildings.
He did not indicate how to display "ideas" but certainly physical U.S. symbols such as the Constitution, Liberty Bell and Statue of Liberty would fit the bill.
And while he said the department hopes to announce the redesigns soon, he stopped short of saying that the $10 bill would get a female image for sure, though Treasury's website makes it clear that a woman will be on the new bill.
"It's not just the $10 bill," Lew told the Christian Science Monitor media breakfast. "Ultimately the whole series" will be changed, he added.
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor
While the $10 is the likely target for a woman's face, Lew added that Alexander Hamilton is not being replaced. "I've always said Alexander Hamilton is not coming off our currency. I'm saying that we're going to make an announced, that there will be a woman on our currency," said Lew.
The theme pushed by the public, he added, is democracy. "Democracy is going to be the theme and we're getting some very interesting commentary as to what the themes of democracy are. I would say that just at kind of a high level, that I think ideas seem to be more in common in people's commentary than buildings. And if you look at our currency it's dominated by people and buildings. So thinking about ways to get the ideas to break through is going to be important," said Lew.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.