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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 June, 2004, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Reaganites root for dollar spot
Mock-up of Ronald Reagan on $10 bill
Reaganites want to see their icon on his own coin or note
Several plans are afoot to see the late former US President Ronald Reagan immortalised on American money.

Competing proposals suggest his image should grace the 10- or 50-cent coins, or the $10 or $20 bills.

But many of the proposals would see Democrat icons knocked off their spots to make way for Reagan - leaving many Democrats less than impressed.

A nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, an airport, and a large government building already carry Reagan's name.

In the Reagan-fever sweeping the US since the former president's death at 93 on Saturday, it has also been proposed that the Pentagon be renamed in his honour.

Partisan proposals

The office of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said he was resurrecting efforts to see Reagan's face replace the image of Alexander Hamilton - the first US Treasury secretary - on the $10 bill.

What's next - putting Ronald Reagan on Mount Rushmore?
Unnamed senior Democratic congressional aide
Others have suggested Reagan bump former presidents Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill, John F Kennedy off the 50-cent piece or Franklin D Roosevelt off the dime (10-cent coin).

All are Democrats - and, unsurprisingly, many Democrats are unhappy about seeing them displaced by the former Cold War warrior.

"I think we have to allow historians and others with some thought to consider how we might best remember President Reagan officially," said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle.

He suggested "the best tribute we could pay to him" would be funding research into Alzheimer's, the disease that afflicted Reagan for years before his death.

Others were less diplomatic.

"What's next - putting Ronald Reagan on Mount Rushmore?" scoffed a senior congressional aide, according to Reuters news agency.

'Emotion'

Some Republicans share the reservations.

Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said no decisions should be made until January, following congressional and presidential elections in November.

"They shouldn't be decided in the emotion of a funeral ... [but] in the sound judgement of what would be good policy," he told Reuters.

A Treasury Department spokeswoman also described the speculation as "premature" - though it is in the power of the Bush administration to order the change and no Congressional approval is required.

Saluting Reagan by putting his face on the currency is only one of a host of ideas for remembering him.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has suggested legislation to rename the Pentagon the Ronald Reagan National Defense Building.

A pending defence act could also be renamed after Reagan, who presided over a massive defence build-up and launched the space-based "Star Wars" missile-defence programme - leaving behind record federal budget deficits.

A Reagan postage stamp will be released, according to custom, on the first birthday following the president's death - in this case on 6 February.


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