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63 Congresspeople Join Plaskett In Goal To Keep Hamilton on the $20 Bill

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                        Rep. Stacey Plaskett

WASHINGTON – Not everyone is excited about the Treasury Department’s decision to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill.

A group 64 lawmakers, including Rep. Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands have asked Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to keep Hamilton on the $10 bill, and instead replace President Andrew Jackson with a woman on the $20.

“We find it disappointing that Alexander Hamilton, one of the most influential interpreters of the U.S. Constitution…and the founder of the nation’s financial system, will be removed from our currency,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Lew last week.

The members are backing a grassroots effort to put a woman on the $20 bill. Supporters say Jackson’s treatment of Native Americans, his opposition to paper money and his ownership of slaves are all reasons why he should be replaced with a famous female.

“America’s currency sends a message both at home and abroad about our shared values,” the lawmakers wrote. “However, we have to get that message right.”

Other Hamilton advocates — including former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, and Doug Hamilton, a descendant of the first Treasury secretary — have also called on Lew to instead revisit the $20 bill.

The Treasury Department announced in June that a woman would replace Hamilton at the center of the $10 bill in 2020, but has yet to select a replacement. Hamilton will still be featured on the remodeled currency.

Older $10 bills will remain in circulation.

Harriet Tubman and Eleanor Roosevelt are some of the leading candidates for the new $10 bill, according to several polls. Members of Congress have been pushing their own candidates.

“I would add Francis Perkins, who is the first woman Cabinet officer and the author of Social Security,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said.  “She certainly has affected many lives.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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