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Published by The White House

Remarks by President Trump in a Signing Ceremony for H.R. 2423, The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act

November 25, 2019

Oval Office
5:10 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, thank you very much.  In a few moments, I will be signing into law the Womens Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act.  This new law directs the Treasury Department to issue 400,000 one-dollar silver coins in a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote.  Nobody is going to take that one off.  We just said nobody.  Not with these women.
Were pleased to be joined on this special occasion by Secretary Elaine Chao, Deputy Secretary Karen Dunn Kelley, Deputy Director Margaret Weichert, Acting Deputy Secretary Kate MacGregor, Administrator Emily Murphy, and Chairman Mary Anne Carter.  Thank you all very much.
Also thanks to Senator Marsha Blackburn, who has been doing an incredible job, and Representative Liz Cheney, likewise an incredible job.  And actually, I just learned something, Liz.  Would you say what you just told me about Wyoming?
REPRESENTATIVE CHENEY:  Yes, sir, Mr. President.  Wyoming was the first place on Earth where women had the right to vote.  Weve been voting 150 years in Wyoming.
THE PRESIDENT:  Number one.  Number one.  (Applause.)
Thats pretty good, right?  (Applause.)
Also with us are members of the Womens Suffrage Centennial Commission: Executive Director of the Commission Anna Laymon; Treasurer of the United States Jovita Carranza; Assistant Secretary Susan Combs; President of Independent Womens Voice Heather Higgins; President of the Heritage Foundation Kay Coles James; President of the Susan B. Anthony List Major thats Marjorie Dannenfelser; President of Concerned Women of America thats Penny Nance; Julissa Marenco from the Smithsonian; Colleen Shogan from the Library of Congress.  Those are great names, Ill tell you.  (Laughter.)  But theyre doing the job.
The one-dollar coins that we will be issued under the Act will honor the vital history of the womens suffrage movement and celebrate many of the brave heroes who fought for the right to vote, such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Ida B. Wells.
All proceeds from the sale of these coins will go to the Smithsonians Womens History Initiative.  My administration will always celebrate the immeasurable contributions of women to every facet of American history and life.  We will fight for every day, and we will fight every night.  Well make this happen, and well continue to make it happen this is going to be a tremendous success to ensure opportunity, prosperity, justice, and equality for all women in the United States.
And Im now going to sign the bill, and then Im going to ask you, folks, some of you whoever would like to to say a few words, okay?  Let me sign this first.
SENATOR BLACKBURN:  Oh, yes.  Cannot wait.  Long time coming.
THE PRESIDENT:  This is a big one, right?  You came all the way back for this signing, right?
(The bill is signed.)
So who should get the first pen, Marsha?  Who?
PARTICIPANT:  Marsha.  (Laughter.)
SENATOR BLACKBURN:  Its my bill!  (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT:  That sounds reasonable.
THE PRESIDENT:  Thats a big thing.  This is a great youve been working on this for years, right?  (Applause.)
So and they have.  Theyve been working on this for years and years.  And Im curious, why wasnt it done a long time ago, and also well, I guess the answer to that is because now Im President, and we get things done.  We get a lot of things done that nobody else got done.  But maybe you could say a few words, just on (inaudible).
SENATOR BLACKBURN:  Oh, Ill be happy to.  This was a project that so many women have worked on.  Elise Stefanik was the lead sponsor in the House.  Liz Cheney helped shepherd it through the House.  Kirsten Gillibrand was the lead Democrat co-sponsor in the Senate.  We passed it out of the Senate with every single senator voting for it in June
SENATOR BLACKBURN:  and sent it over to the House.  And then we had to work a little harder to get it through over there.  But it came through with over 300 co-sponsors on the bill.
And its important to realize that womens suffrage was a 72-year process.  It started at Seneca Falls, New York.  And then, 72 years later, in Nashville, Tennessee August 18th, 1920 is when the 19th Amendment was ratified.  So Tennessee and New York have a strong history in this, and were just thrilled to have this bill.
Proceeds from this coin the Womens Suffrage Commission and the Smithsonian Womens History Project this will go into funding that process.  Now, were doing this coin with no government expenditures because Jovita and her team are doing a great job on the sale of this coin.  And then it will help fund this to make certain that all Americans realize what women have done for the cause of freedom for our nation.  So thank you.
THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, great job.  (Applause.)
And Jovita?
MS. CARRANZA:  I wanted to share with you that the Womens Suffrage Centennial Commission had a very robust and very aggressive outreach program, with Senator Blackburn calling the Secretary of Treasury, Secretary Mnuchin.  He got the call and I got the second call, and we made it happen with all of their support.
And this is great leadership, and were looking forward to having several months to position this coin to benefit a very worthy cause, the Smithsonian, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT:  So why wasnt this done a long time ago years ago?
MS. CARRANZA:  Well, I think has started out with you nominating Kay Coles James this year
THE PRESIDENT:  That helped. (Laughter.)
MS. CARRANZA: and myself as the U.S. Treasurer on the commission.
THE PRESIDENT:  You know what helps.
MS. CARRANZA:  And then, of course, we assem- we assembled a wonderful team.
THE PRESIDENT:  Please.  Go ahead, Kay.
MS. JAMES:  No, I was just going to say thank you.  It has been an honor to be your representative on this commission.
But one of the things thats most noteworthy is that we have worked together in such a bipartisan way to celebrate womens suffrage and the right to vote in this country.  And Im sorry Barbara couldnt be here today Senator Mikulski.  She has done such a phenomenal job.
THE PRESIDENT:  Thats right.
MS. JAMES:  And we have great leadership right here, in our chair and our co-chair.  But it has been exciting, and we look forward to educating and celebrating with the women of America.
THE PRESIDENT:  You did a fantastic job.  Thank you very much.
MS. JAMES:  Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT:  How about our chair saying something?  Please.
MS. SHOGAN:  Susan.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY COMBS:  Well, I just want to say that this is a privilege to be your appointee, your nominee, but also to work with this great team.
And what I really like is the zest and the energy and the enthusiasm everybody showed.  In fact, we just make it impossible not to support this.  So you go from 100 to 300, thats the power of a lot of women working together.  So thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Great job.  Really fantastic.
Lynne [sic]?  Thank you.  Please, come on up.  Lynne [sic] Cheney.
REPRESENTATIVE CHENEY:  Thank you.  Appreciate it.  Well, its an honor to be here.  I think its really important for us to remember that all of us who are elected officials, who are women, all of us who are serving serve on the shoulders and the accomplishments of so many women who have come before us.  Im very proud in Wyoming of the strong women my mother, my grandmothers, my great grandmothers and just the tremendous work and effort that went into this over the years.  And so its an honor to be here.
THE PRESIDENT:  Your daughter.
THE PRESIDENT:  Shes the strongest.  (Laughter.)
REPRESENTATIVE CHENEY:  Exactly.  Thats right.  And my daughter, Elizabeth, whos following in our footsteps.  So thank you very much, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.
Who would like to say something?
MS. HIGGINS:  Can I add something?
THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, you can.
MS. HIGGINS:  I think theyre underrepresenting Senator Blackburn and Jovita.  You asked why this hadnt gotten done before.  Jovita basically took a page from the Wollman Rink in New York, and overcame an awful lot of the process and obstacles to make sure that something happened on time and in the right way.
THE PRESIDENT:  Thats good.
MS. CARRANZA:  Thank you.
SENATOR BLACKBURN:  Yeah, she did.
THE PRESIDENT:  Thats great.  Ive heard that.  Thats great.  Fantastic.  Proud of you.
SENATOR BLACKBURN:  Great work.  Good teamwork.
MS. NANCE:  Mr. President, I would just add that Im Penny Nance with Concerned Women for America.  This has been just a beautiful picture of bipartisanship that I think many in Congress could take a page from.  Women of every ilk were able to come together and actually get something done.  So we hope Congress does that same.
THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you.  Great job.  Anybody?  Anybody?  Final final Kellyanne?  How about Kellyanne?
MS. CONWAY:  Mr. President, thank you
THE PRESIDENT:  Shes always very laidback and shy.  (Laughter.)
MS. CONWAY:  Ill be laidback.  Thank you.  I think the women speak for itself.  And thank you for your leadership.  We really look forward to continuing the celebration of the Centennial of the Womens Right to Vote.  We go right up into next August of 2020.  But its even hard to imagine its only been 100 years.  And since we still have had never had any female President, perhaps well have that in our lifetime, but your victory kept that job open.  So were here to celebrate
THE PRESIDENT:  In five years, right?  (Laughter.)  Five years.
PARTICIPANT:  Or longer.  (Laughter.)
MS. NANCE:  Yeah, we can wait.
MS. CONWAY:  Thats right.  But, sir, thank you for your leadership.  I think the four-letter word called will is the difference between what does not get done and what gets done.  And the leadership and, really, some of your great team here at the White House has been working around this around the clock and has helped.  Thank you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  They have been working very hard on this.
So thank you very much.  This is a very important bill, and its an honor to be involved with it.  And Im glad we got it done.  (Applause.)  This administration has gotten a lot done.  Thank you.END
5:18 P.M. EST