Preface, I am unsure of all the powers the Federal Reserve possess or who controls the Reserve outside of congress. However it is at the Federal level so I was wondering.

  1. What control over the Federal Reserve does the president actually have with/out executive orders?
  2. Could he put himself on some denomination of money or take others out?
  • 3
    Executive orders are not mandates such as decrees. Executive Orders are orders to enforce or ignore existing laws to law enforcement officials. Dec 7, 2018 at 15:23
  • 5
    As a non native speaker I was confused first what does this 'idiom' mean. Didn't expect the meaning to be literal... :)
    – mpasko256
    Dec 7, 2018 at 21:10
  • 2
    @FrankCedeno An Executive Order is an order to members of the executive branch. It can be to enforce or ignore a law, or to do anything else, and it can be to anyone in the executive branch, not just LEO. Dec 7, 2018 at 21:21
  • 1
    @Acccumulation, Incorrect, the executive order is strictly for the enforcement of existing laws (or the manner of enforcement). For other orders to the executive branch, the President will use updates to the CFR or other memos. While there is some minor cross over, he cannot decree a new law using Executive order. Dec 10, 2018 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


Now, let's assume the President somehow finds a legal loophole (e.g. direct to put their face on the bill after they die, and the successor doesn't overturn it). What other limitations or lack thereof are there?

  • the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 required that none of the funds set aside for either the Treasury or the Bureau of Engraving and Printing may be used to redesign the $1 bill. So, President can't put themselves on $1.

  • as per BBC (can't find a primary source for this yet, but Wikipedia agrees):

    The current Secretary of the Treasury is responsible for selecting the lucky few featured on US bills

    Since SecTreas is a cabinet position directly reporting to the President, presumably, the answer to your question is "Yes" as far as "can the President generally decide who goes on the bills, within the rules".

    Notably, despite the question's suspicions, this has nothing to do with Federal Reserve.

  • Also, obviously, an Act of Congress can override SecTreas (as it did with $1 bill).

  • 4
    I suppose a President could direct his SecTreas to do this if he dies while in office. SecTreas would probably have to do it quickly, before the new POTUS has time to form a new cabinet and replace him.
    – Barmar
    Dec 7, 2018 at 17:07
  • @Barmar it's unlikely to happen then without the approval of the replacement President (presumably the prior VP). The latency in designing the bills, approving the design, creating the plates, distributing plates to the mints, and printing the first bills is long enough that the new President would almost certainly have time to stop it if he/she cared to.
    – asgallant
    Dec 7, 2018 at 20:15
  • @asgallant Of course. The sitting POTUS would have to direct the Treasury to perform all that preparation before he dies, which would be quite expensive for "just in case". Maybe if he knows he has a fatal disease.
    – Barmar
    Dec 7, 2018 at 20:32
  • @asgallant I'd imagine he could get the ball rolling on the design if someone were nearing death and expected to be honored with a bill after he passes.
    – Barmar
    Dec 7, 2018 at 21:12
  • Keep in mind that JFK appeared on the half dollar coin VERY soon after his death. While the engravings needed for paper money are different than those needed for coinage, the fact the JFK half dollar was minted about 2 months after his death means a sitting president who presumably had a terminal illness might be able to get a change in place before their replacement was able to undo things. Dec 7, 2018 at 21:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .