The Plan To Put Harriet Tubman On The $20 Bill Is Finally Being Put Into Motion Again
The plan started under President Barack Obama but was stalled under the Trump administration.
January 25, 2021 at 10:31 pm
“The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes,” Psaki told reporters on Monday.
"It's important that our notes and money reflect the history and diversity of our country, and Harriet Tubman's image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that. So we're exploring ways to speed up that effort but any specifics would come from the Department of Treasury," she added.
Psaki says Biden administration is looking for ways to "speed up" efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill — a plan initiated by the Obama administration but delayed under Trump https://t.co/sXdriPfZyQ pic.twitter.com/8DNqmgu2k5— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 25, 2021
The Civil War hero was formerly enslaved and she freed hundreds of other enslaved Black people before becoming one of the country's most important abolitionists and playing a pivotal role in helping the United States defeat the Confederacy during the Civil War.
If placed on the $20 bill, she would be the first woman and first BIPOC to appear on any U.S. currency, according to Bloomberg News.Under former President Barack Obama, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew pledged in 2016 to put Tubman on the $20 bill but former President Donald Trump had a deep admiration for Jackson and ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to stop the effort, according to The New York Times.
In 2016, Trump called the effort “pure political correctness” and vowed to stop it.
Officials under Lew had already started work on a design of the bill when Trump took office and stopped the effort.
“It says everything you need to know about President Trump’s values that he can’t even do the lightest of lifts to honor Harriet Tubman. He’s refusing to put her portrait on the $20 bill, but he’s continuing to honor Confederate generals who fought to preserve slavery,” Democratic Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement last year.investigated by the Treasury inspector general over accusations that Trump's politics interfered with the change.
After kickstarting the investigation, Schumer blasted Mnuchin and Trump for fighting the effort to put Tubman's face on the bill.
“There are no women, there are no people of color on our paper currency today, even though they make up a significant majority of our population, and the previous administration’s plan to put New Yorker Harriet Tubman on the $20 note was a long-overdue way to recognize that disparity, and rectify it,” Schumer told The New York Times.
Despite Trump's public comments about Tubman and Jackson, the investigation said Mnuchin did nothing wrong.
The New York Times reported that the designs created in 2016 had Tubman's face on the front and Jackson on the back.
Lew had planned for the new design to be officially released in 2020 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920.
But Mnuchin said the change would come out in 2030 and gave a variety of excuses for why the government could not move faster in placing Tubman on the bill. He cited security concerns and the desire to make changes to the $10 and $50 bills instead, according to the Associated Press.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has not commented on the move since being named by President Joe Biden as his choice for the spot. If and when she is confirmed, Yellen would be the country's first woman to be named Treasury Secretary.