A newly introduced House Resolution, if passed, would replace President Ulysses S. Grant’s portrait on the $50 bill with an image of President Ronald Reagan.
The President Ronald Reagan $50 Bill Act, numbered H.R. 4705, was introduced by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) on February 25, 2010.
"Every generation needs its own heroes. One decade into the 21st century, it’s time to honor the last great president of the 20th and give President Reagan a place beside Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy," said Congressman McHenry. "President Reagan was a modern day statesman, whose presidency transformed our nation’s political and economic thinking."
President Roosevelt is featured on the dime and President Kennedy on the half-dollar.
According to McHenry, polls of presidential scholars show that "President Reagan consistently outranks President Grant." Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th U.S. President, and has been featured on the $50 since 1929.
Reagan was the 40th U.S. President, and would have been 99 years old this February.
Several events are planned in 2010 to honor his 100th birthday. Another bill introduced last year, the Ronald Reagan Commemorative Coin Act of 2009, would authorize the United States Mint to strike 50,000 $5 commemorative gold coins and 300,000 silver dollars to celebrate his life and historic achievements.
The $50 note was last redesigned in 2004 and first entered circulation in September of that year. The $50 now includes extra security features and new background colors. According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the government agency responsible for printing US currency, the new coloring incorporates "shades of blue and red along with an image of a waving American flag and a metallic silver-blue star." The BEP produced 371.2 million $50 banknotes in FY 2009.
H.R. 4705 currently enjoys the support of 15 cosponsors, and has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. For legislation to become law, it must pass in the House, Senate, and get signed by the President.