2021-04-01 02:26:16 UTC
Harriet Tubman $20 Bill Redesign to be Accelerated by Biden Administration
President Bidens Treasury Department is studying ways to speed up the
process of adding Harriet Tubmans portrait to the front of the $20 bill
after the Trump administration allowed the Obama-era initiative to lapse, Jen
Psaki, the White House press secretary, said on Monday.
The decision to have Ms. Tubman replace Andrew Jackson as the face of the $20
note was set in motion in 2016 by the Treasury secretary at the time, Jacob
Lew. President Donald J. Trump opposed the idea, and his Treasury secretary,
Steven Mnuchin, stopped work on that part of the currency redesign, arguing
that adding new security features to the money was a more urgent priority.
Mr. Mnuchin said that notes with new imagery could not be put into
circulation until 2028 and that a future Treasury secretary would make the
call whether to replace Jackson.
The Treasury Department, which Mr. Biden has nominated Janet L. Yellen to
lead, plans to accelerate that timeline.
The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet
Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes, Ms. Psaki said. Its important
that our money reflect the history and diversity of our country.
A Treasury spokeswoman said that she had no information to share on when a
new design of the $20 bill might be released.
Mr. Trump professed to be a fan of Andrew Jackson, a fellow populist, and was
a fierce opponent of altering historical images and statues.
Mr. Mnuchins decision to slow-walk the change drew backlash from some
Democrats in Congress and triggered a probe from the Treasury inspector
general about whether the process faced improper political interference. The
inquiry found no wrongdoing by Mr. Mnuchin.
Under Mr. Lews plan, the new design was supposed to be unveiled in 2020 on
the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
Preliminary designs of the note that were obtained by The New York Times
revealed that before Mr. Trump took office conceptual work on a bill
bearing Tubmans likeness on the front and a statue of Jackson on the back
was already underway.