Maine Senator: Hey, Why Not Put Sen. Margaret Chase Smith on the Twenty Dollar Bill?

Christine Rousselle
Posted: Jul 19, 2015 6:00 PM
Maine Senator: Hey, Why Not Put Sen. Margaret Chase Smith on the Twenty Dollar Bill?

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is apparently a fan of two things: Former Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME), the first woman to serve in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and keeping Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill. Last week, Collins sent Treasury Secretary Jack Lew a letter urging him to consider putting Smith on the $20 bill and keeping Hamilton on the $10.

It was announced last month that a woman will be featured on the $10 bill, splitting duty with Hamilton. Many were surprised by this announcement, especially as the Women on 20s" campaign had gained quite a bit of press and support. Andrew Jackson, who currently graces the $20 bill, is a controversial figure due to the treatment of Native Americans during his presidency.

Collins' letter reads in part:

I understand that the $10 bill is next in line for replacement in the Treasury’s currency cycle. You have been quoted in the press saying you “don’t think it could be justified to break the cycle” to put a woman’s portrait on the $20 bill. Respectfully, I disagree. Women have played a critical role in the social, cultural, economic, and political life of our country since its founding and continue to shape American society for the better today. Surely Treasury can find a way to adjust the currency cycle to acknowledge this critical role by placing the portrait of a woman on the $20 bill. Doing so would ensure fitting recognition of the important role women have played throughout our nation’s history, without stripping Alexander Hamilton of his appropriate place on the $10 bill.

Collins then goes on to emphasize Hamilton's important place in American history as the architect of the nation's monetary policy, saying that it would be inappropriate to replace him from the $10 bill.

As a born and raised Mainer I'm admittedly not a neutral party on this issue, but I have no qualms with what Collins is suggesting. Smith was a woman who accomplished many impressive things, and should be honored with a spot on our currency.