Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced Friday that the replacement of Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill will be delayed after his department received a flood of input on who the new face should be.
Following the decision to replace Hamilton with a woman earlier this year, the Treasury Department opened the process to ideas from the public as to which historical American female should receive the honor.
But the final decision, once expected to occur by January 1, will take a little longer thanks to larger-than-expected response.
“The public’s input on redesigning our currency has been a valuable part of Secretary Lew’s decision making process,” Treasury spokeswoman Casey Hernandez said in a statement. “As a result of the tremendous amount of engagement, we have many more ideas than we had originally anticipated. Therefore, we are taking additional time to carefully review and consider a range of options to honor the theme of democracy as well as the notable contributions women have made to our country.”
Hamilton was the United States’ first Treasury secretary. His portrait was placed on the $10 bill in 1929 and has remained there ever since.
Popular candidates to replace Hamilton include Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller and Rosa Parks. Sacagawea and Susan B. Anthony have already appeared on U.S. currency, albeit dollar coins.
The decision to replace Hamilton has stirred some controversy over whether the $20 bill, currently featuring seventh president Andrew Jackson, would be a better target for a change. Jackson’s legacy has been questioned thanks to a dubious record in his treatment of Native Americans, while at the same time Hamilton has benefited from the popularity of this year’s Broadway musical named after him.
The new $10 bill was intended to debut in 2020, when it would begin to be circulated. It’s unclear if delaying the decision will also affect that original timeline.