After Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin made sure that putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 would take no less than twelve years, delaying the 2016 Obama-era decision until at least 2028 for "counterfeit safety reasons" and scrapping a 2019 redesign that was nearly finished, for the sole reason that racist Trump loved racist Andrew Jackson as his favorite president and wanted to keep Jackson on the bill, it seems President Joe Biden has come to fix yet another Trump mess.
President Joe Biden is looking to resume work to redesign the $20 bill to feature abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
“The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday.
She added that America's currency should "reflect the history and diversity of our country, and Harriet Tubman's image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that.”
The effort, initiated late in former President Barack Obama’s second term, was backburnered by the Trump administration under former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Mnuchin has said that the delay was due to additional work needed on anti-counterfeiting security features, and that bills with her image on it were not likely to enter circulation before 2028.
A Treasury Department spokesperson confirmed that they are looking at ways to speed up the process but did not specify what those might be. When Mnuchin first announced the delay, he also said that the $10 and $50 bills would be refreshed ahead of the $20 denomination, and that work remains underway.
The redesigned note, on which Tubman would usurp President Andrew Jackson — a slaveowner who would be relegated to the backside of the note — was supposed to roll out in 2020. The timing of the design’s unveiling was initially supposed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which extended voting rights to women.
Jackson, the seventh president, proved to be one of former president Donald Trump’s favorite historical figures. Trump spoke of Jackson often on the 2016 campaign trail, deriding plans replacing him with Tubman as “pure political correctness” and suggested placing Tubman on the $2 bill instead.
The Treasury Department has previously denied that the delay was influenced by political considerations. In 2019 the department’s inspector general agreed to open an investigation into the decision to push back the redesign for several years.
I'm not sure how long the project will take, but it was supposed to be done last year. I'm hoping it can done sooner rather than later, especially before Republicans can add a poison pill to must-pass legislation that would kill the project completely.
Still, this is not a top priority, I'd rather have the $1,400 in my pocket today already, but it's something.