Congressman Proposes Putting A Woman On The $20 Bill

04/21/2015 06:30 pm ET | Updated Apr 22, 2015

The effort to put a woman on a piece of U.S. currency has a champion in the House.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) introduced a bill on Tuesday that proposes placing a woman on the $20 bill.

“If this is a country that truly believes in equality, it is time to put our money where our mouths are, literally, and express that sense of justice and fairness on the most widely used bill in circulation,” he said in a press release.

The “Put a Woman on the Twenty Act” takes the first steps toward that by directing the secretary of the treasury to form a commission that would suggest possible women to put on the bill and take recommendations from the public.

The bill follows a related bill in the Senate introduced last week by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). Both bills came after major mobilization on social media by a nonprofit organization called Women On 20s.

More than 750,000 people have gone to the group’s site and voted on designs for the $20 bill that feature women such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and Cherokee chief Wilma Mankiller.

eleanor roosevelt

Last month, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew dodged a question from a reporter asking whether he would support putting a woman on the $20 bill.

However, President Barack Obama has appeared receptive to the proposal. In a speech last summer, he mentioned that a fourth-grader from Massachusetts had written him a letter with the suggestion.

“She gave me like a long list of possible women to put on our dollar bills and quarters and stuff -- which I thought was a pretty good idea,” Obama said.

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