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Two great women for the $10 bill

Women have made important and vital contributions to building our country, recognition of their part in history is long overdue. With that, I am pleased that a woman is being considered to be the image on the $10 bill.

The consideration of a new image for the $10 bill, gives us an opportunity to open a bigger discussion. By what process is the image on American currency selected? Some questions we might ask are: Should the choice be made with a "term limit?" Who should make the final decision? For example, what if every 10 years, an act of Congress, signed by the president, could select an image for one denomination ($10 bill), two years later, another denomination ($20 bill) for a 10-year term, and so on. What should the criteria for selection encompass? Should every denomination be a former president? Should any person who has been a leader in government, finance, sciences, arts, literature or community service also be eligible?

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My suggestion for a way forward is to continue the selection process that is already underway, putting a woman on the $10 bill for a five-year designation. During that time, Congress should answer the questions of process and designation and pass a law to be signed by the president, governing the future image decisions. Of course, the status quo is also an option.

The women being considered are all enormous contributors to our society. With the attention being placed on this decision, I think there are others who should be added for consideration now and for the future. For example, Muriel Siebert, the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, was a trailblazer in the financial world. Not only did she excel in business, she also served as the Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York; she blazed the trail for low-cost, stock-trading fees not previously accessible.

Read MoreOp-ed: Put Muriel Siebert on the $10 bill

Another trailblazer is Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She has made a lasting contribution to our justice system and her foundation advocates for teaching civics to our students to assure every American learns early the importance of fulfilling their responsibilities in a democracy.

These are two of many suggestions that will come forward if we take this opportunity to have a full discussion and open the possibilities of memorializing our most illustrious contributors to American culture.

Commentary by Kay Bailey Hutchison, senior counsel at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. She served as a U.S. senator (R-Texas) from 1993-2013. Follow her on Twitter @kaybaileyhutch.

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