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Monday July 22nd, 2019 12:07AM

Mnuchin and Carranza now on $1 bills

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza are now on the money, literally.

The two officials took a tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on Wednesday to see firsthand the production of new $1 bills, the first currency that will bear their signatures.

Mnuchin's signature is decidedly more legible than that of his predecessor Jacob Lew. Lew had handwriting that was so sloppy that former President Barack Obama once joked that unless he made his signature more legible, it might debase the currency.

Carranza and Mnuchin, accompanied by his wife Louise Linton, examined sheets of the $1 bills at the bureau's Washington printing plant. The currency will be shipped to Federal Reserve regional banks around the country, and the new bills are expected to go into circulation in December.

Both Treasury officials provided 10 sample signatures, from which one was chosen for government engravers.

Signatures of Treasury secretaries have been appearing on U.S. currency since 1914.

During his appearance to examine the new currency, Mnuchin did not address the issue of whether the Trump administration will reverse a decision made by the Obama administration to replace Andrew Jackson, who currently appears on the $20, with Harriet Tubman, the 19th century African-American abolitionist.

During last year's presidential campaign, President Donald Trump criticized the move as "pure political correctness," while praising Jackson, the nation's seventh president.

Asked about the possibility of reversing the decision to put Tubman on the $20, Mnuchin in September had said that the major focus was on improving security features to thwart counterfeiters and that the final designs were "very far in the future."

The next bill scheduled for re-design is the $10. It will not be released until 2026.

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This story has been corrected to show that Carranza and Mnuchin, not Lew, examined the currency.

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