President Joe Biden‘s administration is working to speed up the plan to put the image of the famous abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 bill.
Former President Barack Obama’s administration finalized plans to replace the image of President Andrew Jackon on the new $20 bill with Tubman in 2016. The administration planned to unveil the new bill in 2020.
The change would have marked the first time a Black individual was featured on U.S. currency.
However, the Trump administration delayed the release of the new bill by six years. Then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the bill would be unveiled in 2026 and would likely not be in circulation until 2028.
During a press conference on Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if the Biden administration had plans to speed up the release of the new $20 bill.
“I was here when we announced that, and it was very exciting, and it hasn’t moved forward yet — which we would have been surprised to learn at the time,” Psaki said.
She continued, “The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes… It’s important that our notes… our 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,” she added.
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Harriet Tubman is still coming to the $20 bill.— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 25, 2021
Press Sec. Psaki: ‘The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 note … we’re exploring ways to speed up that effort’ pic.twitter.com/ck6WXgdTZA
In 2019, Mnuchin said the release of the new $20 note would be delayed due to new security features for the currency to prevent counterfeiting.
As a candidate in 2016, Trump said the decision to replace Jackson with Tubman was “pure political correctness.” He also suggested the Treasury could put Tubman’s image on a different denomination.
Mnuchin stressed to lawmakers that the delay was due to security reasons and was not political.
Tubman, who was born into slavery and escaped, helped lead hundreds of slaves to freedom in the 19th century.