Fact Check

Bill Me Later

Published June 22, 2015


FACT CHECK:    Has the U.S. Treasury Department announced that Michelle Obama will be the new face on the $10 bill?

Claim:    Michelle Obama has been chosen by the U.S. Treasury Department to be the new face of the $10 bill.


Origins:    On 20 June 2015, the entertainment Facebook page Fox News The FB Page (which has no affiliation with the Fox News channel) posted an image of Michelle Obama on a $10 bill, along with an article reporting that the First Lady's portrait would soon be added to that unit of American currency (in place of Alexander Hamilton's):

Last year in a Kansas City speech, President Obama said he received a letter from a young girl asking why there were no women on American currency.

"And then she gave me like a long list of possible women to put on our dollar bills and quarters and stuff, which I thought was a pretty good idea," the president said.

Now, the Obama administration is following through on that idea. The Treasury Department has announced that it's redesigning the $10 bill to feature First Lady Michelle Obama

"Our democracy is a work in progress. We've always been committed to a more perfect union," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told reporters Wednesday. "This decision to put the first lady on the $10 reflects our aspirations for the future, as much as it is a reflection of the past."

There is no truth to this item, as Fox News The FB Page (although designed to look like an official Facebook page for the Fox News Channel) is one of many online purveyors of fake news stories.

Although the above-quoted story is false, the U.S. Treasury Department did announce that a woman would be featured on a newly redesigned $10 bill. The person to be so honored has not yet been selected, but Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that that person would be "a woman who has contributed to and represents the values of American democracy.”

Another publication has similarly falsely suggested the new face on the $10 bill will be that of Hillary Clinton:

It's very unlikely the new $10 bill will feature either Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton, as current U.S. law prohibits the use of portraits of living persons on U.S. currency:

The law prohibits portraits of living persons from appearing on Government Securities. Therefore, the portraits on our currency notes are of deceased persons whose places in history the American people know well.

Last updated:     21 June 2015

First published:     21 June 2015

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.