Lawmakers push to put women on quarters

Throughout history, the vast majority of the faces embossed on US coins have belonged to men. But a new bipartisan bi...

Posted: Mar 16, 2018 10:46 AM
Updated: Mar 16, 2018 10:46 AM

Throughout history, the vast majority of the faces embossed on US coins have belonged to men. But a new bipartisan bill aims to give more women a metal memorial.

Two US representatives -- Democrat Barbara Lee of California and Republican Bruce Poliquin of Maine -- on Thursday introduced a bill that would inject the coin circulation with quarters that feature prominent women from American history.

In a program that would mimic the ongoing commemorative collection that features state landmarks, the US Mint would churn out coins featuring women selected by leaders from all 50 states, five territories and DC. Their portraits would appear on the back side of the coins, opposite George Washington.

"We have so many women, first of all, who are unsung heroes, and their accomplishments haven't been recognized," Lee told CNNMoney. "This bill, and hopefully the coins, will give us a chance to really highlight them and make sure the world really knows who they are and what they have done. I think it's really long overdue."

The legislation, introduced during Women's History Month, would direct the governor or top official in each state or territory to consult with local women's organizations and other interested groups about their pick. No living people can appear on coins, so the women must be deceased, the bill stipulates.

Related: Mnuchin still won't commit to putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill

The first design mockups could arrive in 2020, the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. And Lee said the first coins could enter circulation in 2021.

Lee worked for more than a year alongside former Treasurer Rosie Rios to draft this bill.

Rios has fought tooth-and-nail to get more female faces on US currency since she arrived in Washington DC to serve as President Obama's Treasurer almost a decade ago.

Her push to include a woman on the front of the $10 bill, the denomination that's currently due for a makeover, made headlines in 2015 and 2016.

The Treasury Secretary, however, has final say when it comes to redesigning paper currency. And former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew ultimately decided to keep Alexander Hamilton as the face of the $10. But he promised Harriet Tubman could one day replace Andrew Jackson on the $20, and he pledged to put a collage of female leaders on the back of the $10.

President Trump's Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, has not said whether he intends to alter or follow Lew's plan. Mnuchin's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Even as Rios was pushing for a woman on the $10 bill, she was also quietly working with Lee on the coin legislation.

While Treasury can single-handedly redesign paper money, changes to coins must go through Congress.

Rosie Rios on the push for gender equality

"I had a whole plan," Rios told CNNMoney. "It wasn't just a woman for the sake of a woman. I knew our timeline [for issuing updated coins and currency] was 2020, the suffrage centennial. This is about giving half your population the chance to participate."

Poliquin, the Republican from Maine, said he jumped at the chance to co-sponsor Lee's bill when she approached him about it a couple weeks ago. Both are optimistic the measure will pass.

"I think we're going to have plenty of support," he said. "It's about women in our society and our country and economy."

When asked who they'd like to see represented on their home states' quarters, Lee said she doesn't have a specific woman in mind. Pliquin mentioned Margaret Chase Smith, a Maine lawmaker who became the first woman to serve in both houses of the United States Congress. And Rios mentioned famed poet Maya Angelou, who lived in San Francisco, for her home state of California.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 52037

Reported Deaths: 2762
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12111693
Lake5677249
Elkhart366260
Allen2971134
St. Joseph221169
Hamilton1735101
Cass16489
Hendricks1470100
Johnson1351118
Porter84938
Vanderburgh8016
Tippecanoe7859
Clark71944
Madison68164
LaPorte62928
Howard61058
Bartholomew60545
Kosciusko5844
Marshall57011
Noble52428
Boone49244
LaGrange48710
Delaware48152
Jackson4793
Hancock47436
Shelby46025
Floyd41844
Monroe36128
Morgan34431
Grant32226
Dubois3196
Henry30318
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27810
Dearborn27123
Warrick26829
Vigo2618
Decatur25732
Lawrence25325
Harrison21822
Greene19932
Miami1942
Jennings17912
Putnam1748
DeKalb1694
Scott1659
Wayne1596
Daviess15117
Perry15110
Steuben1402
Orange13823
Jasper1362
Ripley1357
Franklin1288
Gibson1282
Wabash1193
Carroll1142
Starke1093
Fayette1087
Whitley1086
Newton10110
Huntington942
Jefferson872
Wells831
Randolph804
Fulton761
Jay720
Knox710
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Posey640
Rush623
Spencer591
Owen531
Benton510
Sullivan511
Adams491
Brown441
Blackford402
Fountain362
Crawford330
Tipton331
Switzerland320
Parke280
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike120
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 66853

Reported Deaths: 3064
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin12301449
Cuyahoga9359399
Hamilton7046208
Lucas3079306
Marion275539
Montgomery257936
Summit2382209
Pickaway222942
Mahoning1971239
Butler189747
Columbiana139560
Stark1244116
Lorain118970
Trumbull106678
Warren101826
Clark82010
Delaware76315
Fairfield71917
Lake62723
Tuscarawas62110
Licking60012
Medina59932
Belmont57324
Clermont5157
Miami51431
Wood51051
Portage50960
Ashtabula45244
Geauga43143
Richland3906
Allen38541
Wayne37655
Greene3659
Mercer30410
Erie30122
Holmes2625
Darke26126
Huron2602
Madison2259
Ottawa21724
Athens1921
Sandusky17615
Ross1503
Washington14720
Putnam14515
Coshocton1434
Crawford1405
Jefferson1272
Morrow1271
Hardin12512
Union1151
Auglaize1124
Muskingum1061
Preble961
Lawrence920
Clinton912
Monroe8917
Hancock871
Hocking839
Guernsey824
Scioto770
Shelby774
Williams772
Carroll713
Logan711
Ashland692
Fulton680
Wyandot665
Brown621
Fayette580
Highland581
Champaign571
Knox571
Defiance553
Van Wert491
Perry481
Seneca442
Henry370
Paulding340
Jackson310
Pike290
Adams282
Vinton232
Gallia211
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan120
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 82°
Angola
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 82°
Huntington
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 82°
Decatur
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 82°
Van Wert
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 82°
Warmer Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events