Jessica Ellis
December 13, 2015 9:11 am

Many rejoiced when it was announced that the United States Treasury Department was planning to finally add a woman to the line-up of American all-stars on US paper currency. However, it now looks like the matter has become too controversial for an easy decision, and now the whole issue will be put off until 2016.

Back in June, the Department announced the planned re-design of the $10 bill, intending it to reach circulation in 2020. At the time, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew saw the opportunity as a big advancement for recognition of the women leaders of the US. According to CNN, the secretary said at the time, “We have only made changes to the faces on our currency a few times since bills were first put into circulation, and I’m proud that the new 10 will be the first bill in more than a century to feature the portrait of a woman.” Lew also announced a website and a hashtag, #TheNew10, for the public to make suggestions — and make suggestions they did.

Speaking to CBS News this week, a Treasury Department spokesperson chalked the delay up to an unexpected increase of public engagement with the re-design. “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.”

There’s also a possibility that the delay may be related to another issue: an unexpected backlash at the removal of Alexander Hamilton from the $10 bill. Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury Secretary, is enjoying an unprecedented revival of popularity thanks to the smash Broadway rap musical, Hamilton, about the founding father’s life. A strong counter-campaign suggesting that the Treasury Department strike President Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill instead has been underway for some months, gaining a lot of fans.

Whether this campaign will affect Lew’s final decision is yet to be seen, but I guess we’ll find out in  2016.

(Image via iStock.)

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