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Biden administration to “speed up” release of $20 bills featuring Harriet Tubman

“The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriett Tubman on the front of the $20 notes,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Harriet Tubman Getty Images

The Biden administration is planning to look at different ways to accelerate the process of getting Harriet Tubman’s image on the $20 bill, an effort that was hindered by the Trump administration.

According to The Hill, White House press secretary Jen Psaki shared the news during a press briefing on Monday (Jan. 25). “The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriett Tubman on the front of the $20 notes,” she said.

“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 added. “So, we’re exploring ways to speed up that effort.”

Back in 2016, the Treasury Department announced that they would replace Andrew Jackson’s image on the front of the $20 note with Tubman’s. Jack Lew, who was the Treasury secretary at the time, said the bill would be unveiled in 2020.

Once Donald Trump became president, the initiative was halted. In 2019, lawmakers were told that putting Tubman’s image on the bill would be delayed until 2028 due to “technical issues.” However, the New York Times reported that the “basic design already on paper most likely could have satisfied the goal of unveiling.” The outlet also said that they had received an image of the new note which depicted “Tubman in a dark coat with a wide collar and a white scarf.” The New York Times also said that the design “was completed in late 2016.”

Trump opposed replacing a former president with the abolitionist and said it was “pure political correctness” during his 2016 presidential campaign. He suggested that Tubman be placed on the $2 bill instead.

In 2019, the Treasury Department announced that it would launch an investigation into the delay of the new note. Watch Psaki speak about the administration’s plans below.

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