The Biden administration is “exploring ways to speed up” the release of new $20 bills bearing the likeness of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing. The bill’s debut had been reportedly slowed by the Trump administration.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki: “The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes.”
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 25, 2021
“The Treasury Department is taking steps 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,” Psaki said told reporters Monday.
“We’re exploring ways to speed up that effort,” she added.
The Obama White House originally announced in 2016 that Tubman would be featured on a newly designed $20 bill. She is slated to replace former president Andrew Jackson, a slaveholder who also oversaw large-scale murder of Native Americans, including via forced relocation along the “trail of tears and death.”
The Trump administration claimed that due to “technical issues,” the Tubman bills would not come to fruition before 2028. According to the New York Times, however, no such issue existed. A preliminary design was created before Trump ever took office, and work on the bill continued through at least May 2018. But current and former department officials told the Times that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was postponing the premiere of the new $20 note to prevent Trump from canceling Tubman’s appearance on the bill entirely.