May 20, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) announced that he has signed onto legislation that would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to convene a panel of citizens to recommend a woman whose likeness would be featured on a new twenty dollar bill. Senator King released the following statement:
“From Maine’s own Margaret Chase Smith to Frances Perkins, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman and many, many others, the United States has a long and proud history of women leaders who have courageously broken down barriers, ushered in social change, and advanced the course of history,” Senator King said. “Today, we continue to reap the benefits of their hard-fought achievements. By giving women a distinguished place on our currency, we will at least take a step toward recognizing and honoring their monumental contributions to our nation.”
Although U.S. paper currency has been redesigned several times to improve legibility and prevent counterfeiting, the portraits on the seven main bill denominations have not changed in nearly a century. Those portraits were chosen by a special Treasury-appointed panel of citizens in the late 1920s. The Women on the Twenty Act, which was introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), would allow for a new citizen panel to be appointed that would take into consideration the input of the American public to select a woman to honor in this way.