In an interview on FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Mornings with Maria (weekdays, 6a-9a/ET), Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew discussed the proposed changes to U.S. currency, tax reform, Steve Mnuchin, and President Obama’s transition of power.

Jack Lew On The Political Obstacles To Tax Reform

Jack Lew

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Jack Lew on the proposed changes to the U.S. currency:

“I think that the idea of the Harriet Tubman being on our currency is pretty broadly accepted in this country.  You hear people calling them Tubmans already.  Since the President said it once, it’s become kind of a common phrase.  It tells a story about how American history has many different lenses.  The life of someone born a slave who fights her way to freedom, travels back and forth to bring other people to freedom, becomes a spy to help the Union Army find its way through the rivers into battle — And then in the end, being one of the early suffragists in this country that gave women the right to vote.  It is a quintessential American story, but a uniquely important one, and a part of our history that belongs on our currency. That will be on the front of the 20.  And what we’ve laid out as a vision is on the back, to use the reverse side to tell a story.  So to animate the buildings that are there now.  The Lincoln Memorial is sitting there just as a building on the back of the five.  To surround it with images that bring it to life as a place where so many important things happened in our national history, from Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech to Marian Anderson breaking the segregation line in Washington and singing for 70,000 people. The back of the 10, where we have Hamilton on the front, can show the image of women demonstrating for the right to vote, coming to the steps of the Treasury Department to make the case for the women’s right to vote, which happened in 1920.  And in 2020, what better time to have a woman on the currency and the history of suffrage shown on our money?

And we’ve proposed that on the 20, that Alexander Hamilton be — pardon me, Andrew Jackson be retained on the reverse side in an image that would show the White House with sculpture that is facing the White House which is a sculpture of Andrew Jackson.”

On Steve Mnuchin:

“You know, I’ve spoken with him.  I — I can’t say I know him.  He obviously has a successful background in business.  I know a number of people who’ve worked with him when he was in New York, and I think that he has approached this the way we all do, taking kind of immediate notice of the breadth of the responsibility that you have.  And I will wait to get to know him better and watch how he proceeds. One thing I know is that he comes into a department is that is enormously strong.  It’s a department that the career staff of the department can support you in any area you go into on any day, and that’s a good thing,, because any given day will have a dozen different components to it.  And no one comes prepared without that resource behind them.”

On having a lot of business professionals in the new cabinet:

“I think that all who come into these jobs bring something that’s unique to ourselves and our background, and we all come into the jobs and then realize that there are many things that you couldn’t possibly have done before because there are different kinds of jobs.  Whether it’s treasury secretary, secretary of state, any of the major agencies, I think that people have to come in and be willing to hear from a wide variety of voices and not just have one perspective.  I think people need to draw on the resources of the institutions that they’re leading that have deep institutional knowledge. And you have to remain true to your principles and flexible to facts and analysis as you go through, because every day, you deal with things that are complicated and hard, and you can’t just come in thinking what the answer is.  You have to find out the answer by going through the tough process issue by issue.  The people can come from a business background and do well.  They can come from a government background and do well.”

On whether Obama will still keep a peaceful transition of power:

“I think the President is determined for this to be an A plus transition.  He has given a clear signal to everyone in the administration that that is not optional.  That means providing the resources people need, the personal attention from every level, from the top on down.  And he’s leading by example, doing it himself. Just Friday, I had lunch with former chiefs of staff and the incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and we shared our candid advice.  And I think one of the things he saw in that group is that it’s a group of people who talk very honestly and candidly with each other and nobody ever knows what we say to each other, and I have found in my experience, both as Chief of Staff, as the ONB Director, and now as Treasury Secretary, that there is an openness even after you’re out of office to sharing advice.  I think that’s the spirit of this transition and it will continue.”

Please see below for full transcript:

Part 1:

Jack Lew:  I think that the idea of the Harriet Tubman being on our currency is pretty broadly accepted in this country.  You hear people calling them Tubmans already.  Since the President said it once, it’s become kind of a common phrase.  It tells a story about how American history has many different lenses.  The life of someone born a slave who fights her way to freedom, travels back and forth to bring other people to freedom, becomes a spy to help the Union Army find its way through the rivers into battle —

BARTIROMO:  What a story.

Jack Lew:  And then in the end, being one of the early suffragists in this country that gave women the right to vote.  It is a quintessential American story, but a uniquely important one, and a part of our history that belongs on our currency.

1:06: BARTIROMO:  That will be on the back?

Jack Lew:  That will be on the front of the 20.  And what we’ve laid out as a vision is on the back, to use the reverse side to tell a story.  So to animate the buildings that are there now.  The Lincoln Memorial is sitting there just as a building on the back of the five.  To surround it with images that bring it to life as a place where so many important things happened in our national history, from Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech to Marian Anderson breaking the segregation line in Washington and singing for 70,000 people.

The back of the 10, where we have Hamilton on the front,

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