‘Representation Matters’: Mnuchin Gets Grilled For Abandoning Harriet Tubman $20 Bill Redesign

Harriet Tubman, Steve Mnuchin
Library of Congress/Handout via Reuters, Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The Trump administration effectively dropped all previous plans to make abolitionist Harriet Tubman the new face of the $20 bill. As Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin claimed Wednesday, counterfeiting concerns are what halted the process, but many are wondering why the administration isn’t prioritizing featuring a black woman on U.S. currency for the first time.

“Mr. Secretary, do you believe that representation matters in American politics and imagery?” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) asked Mnuchin at a House hearing Wednesday. “Mr. Secretary, do you believe people other than white men have greatly contributed to this country and its history?”

Mnuchin answered “yes” to both questions, but said that “the primary reason we’ve looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues.” Mnuchin estimated the new design wouldn’t be ready until 2028.

The decision to put Tubman on the bill happened in the Obama administration and the Treasury Department announced at the time the new bill would be unveiled in 2020, marking the 100-year anniversary of the 19th amendment.

Pressley didn’t buy Mnuchin’s explanation of why the bill needed to be pushed back an additional eight years:

“I’m just wondering if you could explain that to me because after an exhaustive community process where people who organized for quite some time and you said you do share my sentiments and opinion that our currency should be more reflective of the contributions and the diversity of those contributions — so why the delay?”

Watch the video below:

Pressley openly doubted Mnuchin’s commitment to diversity in American imagery and she wasn’t alone. Many pointed out that while the administration dropped efforts to uplift Tubman, President Donald Trump defended Confederate statues, praised Confederate general Robert E. Lee, and honored former President Andrew Jackson.

Jackson currently has a spot on the $20 bill but he was targeted for replacement due to his status as a slave owner and his role in supporting the Native American removal program, known as the Trail of Tears, that lead to the deaths of thousands of Native American people.

Trump is an open admirer of Jackson. During his 2016 campaign, Trump said Jackson had “a great history” and replacing him with Tubman would be “pure political correctness.” According to CNN, at the time, Trump suggested that Tubman be put on the $2 bill — a note that is no longer printed.

What do you think?


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General Confusion

“Mnuchin estimated the new design wouldn’t be ready until 2028.” article

I am confused.

So we were able to plan and build the infrastructure of a completely new science and put the first man on the moon in a few years, but we can’t release a new currency bill for ANOTHER decade? Is that what Mnuchin is saying? It sure sounds like it to me!

“Murmur, murmer, murmur.”

What did you say? Oh, it has the depiction of a famous, important woman of color on the bill? Oh, never mind. What was I thinking?





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