Two Republican lawmakers are considering separate legislation that would place Ronald Reagan’s face on U.S. currency.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., confirmed today he is working on a proposal to put the 40th president’s image on the $10 bill in place of the country’s first treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton, reports CNN/Money.
In the House of Representatives, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., is preparing a similar effort to put Reagan on the $20 bill.
An alternative considered by proponents is to put Reagan’s image on the dime, which would require only the discretion of the Treasury secretary.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt would not be removed altogether from the 10-cent piece because of opposition that includes Nancy Reagan. The proposal is to mint half the dimes with Reagan’s face and the other half with Roosevelt’s.
No changes have been made in persons on paper bills since 1929, when U.S. currency was standardized in size and general design.
Washington sources told CNN/Money passage of a bill in the GOP-dominated House seems achievable, but the Democratic minority in the Senate could block any legislation using cloture rules.
Republican activist Grover Norquist, head of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, says he has discussed the idea with Treasury Secretary John W. Snow and senior White House staff and found no opposition.
Treasury spokeswoman Ann Womack Colton said, however, “It’s premature to get into any discussions about it, including discussions of process or timing.”
A Hamilton biographer, Ron Chernow, believes even Reagan would have objected to removing the Revolutionary War hero and Founding Father from the $10 bill.
“Hamilton was the prophet of the capitalist system that Ronald Reagan so admired,” he told USA Today.