The Biden administration is moving forward with a plan to replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill with an image of Harriet Tubman.
The decision to use Tubman’s likeness was initially made by the Obama administration in 2016, but had been delayed by former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin under President Trump.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced the Treasury Department would engage in the necessary steps to place Tubman on the currency, removing Jackson from the front of the note where he has appeared since 1928.
“The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes,” Psaki stated.
“A note reflects the history and diversity of our country and the Harriet Tubman image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that,” she continued.
Psaki added that the administration is “exploring ways to speed up that effort.”
Tubman, who escaped slavery and became a leading abolitionist known best for her efforts with the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, would be the first woman and first African American to be featured on an American paper currency.
PSAKI: “The treasury department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new 20 dollar notes.”
“Our notes are money for people who don’t know what a note is.” pic.twitter.com/r1dQ75BWcP
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) January 25, 2021
Harriet Tubman to Be Placed on the $20 Bill
Last year, Mnuchin announced that any efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 would be delayed until 2030 due to anti-counterfeiting technology requirements.
He testified before Congress that the bill would likely be postponed until 2026 while it would not see circulation until 2028.
Mnuchin was quick to note that they were not seeking to cancel the plan but needed to address printing matters as an issue of security.
“I just want to clarify that we have not changed any of this and this is something in the distant future,” he vowed.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announces the Treasury Department is resuming an Obama-era effort to put Harriet Tubman on the new $20 bill:
“It’s important that our money reflect the history and diversity of our country.”pic.twitter.com/937uIAG7Zc
— The Recount (@therecount) January 25, 2021
Trump Praised Tubman But Criticized the Move to Remove Jackson
Former President Trump criticized the decision to remove Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and replace him with Harriet Tubman as “pure political correctness.”
“Andrew Jackson had a great history, and I think it’s very rough when you take somebody off the bill,” he said.
Jackson’s efforts at the Battle of New Orleans were pivotal during the War of 1812 in preventing plans for a British invasion of the American frontier.
His legacy has been the subject of controversy as his time as President marked the beginning of a policy of Indian removal.
President @realDonaldTrump announced the creation of a new monument: the National Garden of Heroes!
It will be a vast outdoor park featuring statues of the greatest Americans who have ever lived. We will honor extraordinary citizens from every part of our nation. pic.twitter.com/Q8obzrUUl0
— The White House 45 Archived (@WhiteHouse45) July 5, 2020
Trump announced an executive order earlier this month listing the names of those he wants to honor as statues in a proposed “National Garden of American Heroes.”
Harriet Tubman and Andrew Jackson were both on the list of individuals he sought to honor.
“Each individual has been chosen for embodying the American spirit of daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love,” the order said.
Any hope of the garden being constructed was likely lost with the incoming Biden administration.
Read more at the Political Insider