Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would call for featuring a woman on the $20 bill.
Gutiérrez's bill complements one Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenKoch-backed group launches 7-figure ad blitz opposing .5T bill Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken We have a plan that prioritizes Afghanistan's women — we're just not using it MORE's (D-N.H.) unveiled last week. The Illinois Democrat argued that men shouldn't dominate all the images on American paper currency.
"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," Gutiérrez said in a statement.
"As the most used currency in international transactions, billions will see our values and freedoms in the course of daily financial transactions in every corner of the world," he added.
Martha Washington's image was on a $1 silver certificate briefly in the 19th century. But no other woman has appeared on any bill since then.
Instead, the bills feature Presidents George Washington ($1), Thomas Jefferson ($2), Abraham Lincoln ($5), Andrew Jackson ($20), Ulysses S. Grant ($50), William McKinley ($500), Grover Cleveland ($1,000), James Madison ($5,000) and Woodrow Wilson ($100,000), along with former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton ($10), diplomat and inventor Benjamin Franklin ($100), and onetime Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase ($10,000).
Specifically, Gutiérrez's bill directs the Treasury secretary to establish a commission to gather public input and recommend a woman to be featured on the $20 bill.
President Obama said last year that it would be a "pretty good idea" to put women on American currency after receiving a letter from a young girl asking why there aren't any women on bills.
A campaign called "Women on 20s" launched an online petition this year in to support of putting the image of a woman on the $20 bill. So far there are four leading contenders: Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller.