Paper Money

Senate resolution supports portrait of woman on note

Few women have been depicted on paper money that circulated in the United States, with Swedish opera sensation Jenny Lind among, shown here on a 19th century note from a Connecticut bank. A new Senate resolution supports the current movement to place a woman's portrait on Federal Reserve notes.

Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions and Library of Congress.

The effort to place a woman on U.S. paper currency was brought back into the spotlight Jan. 21 with the introduction of Senate Resolution 348 by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., titled “A resolution supporting efforts to place a woman on the currency of the United States.” 

Following standard procedure, the resolution was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which will consider it before sending it to the Senate floor for consideration. The website govtrack.us gives the measure an 84 percent chance of being agreed to.

As shown by the words “supporting efforts” in the resolution’s title, the exercise is more symbolic than practical since, unlike coin design, which requires congressional approval, paper money is usually under the purview of the secretary of the Treasury, who has the authority for final approval and who collaborates with officials of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

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