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A woman could be replacing Jackson on the $20 bill — and Hamilton stays on the $10

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Andrew Jackson is on his way out.

This week, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is expected to announce that Jackson's image will be taken off the $20 bill and replaced by a woman, CNN reported.

The woman to take his place, while yet to be decided on or named, is meant to illustrate the struggles of racial inequality, an unnamed senior government official told CNN. However, the change likely won't be seen in circulation until 2030, due to the long design and anti-counterfeit process.

The announcement comes as a shift from Lew's initial announcement last year that a woman would share the $10 bill with Alexander Hamilton and also be featured on the back of bills.

With Hamilton's growing celebrity status — thanks to a popular Broadway musical that shares his name — the prospect of having the first woman featured on paper currency in more than 100 years split the bill with a beloved figure in United States history struck ire with Americans.

More than 600,000 people petitioned the Treasury in a 10-week campaign to instead replace Jackson last May. Women on 20s, an advocacy group working to get a woman featured on the $20 bill, wrote in an open letter to Lew last week, "[R]elegating women to the back of the bill is akin to sending them to the back of the bus. The Rosa Parks analogies are inevitable."

Vox's Matt Yglesias weighed in on the debate:

Many presidents oversaw mistreatment of American Indians, but Jackson's policies in this regard were especially egregious. He was also a proponent of slavery, and his crank monetary policies — including an opposition to paper money — make him almost uniquely unsuited for a role on currency.

Hamilton had his flaws and the case for putting a woman on American currency is strong, but Jackson is far and away the best candidate for removal.


Why are pennies still in circulation?

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