EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The U.S. Treasury Department is resuming efforts to put Harriet Tubman’s image on the $20 bill, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
El Paso NAACP president Doris Jackson-Hardwick told KTSM that it would be cool to see someone that looks like her on a $20 bill. She also explained that people that view the new face on the money will raise questions about the change. That would present an opportunity to educate society on what Tubman stood for.
Psaki said it was important for U.S. notes “to reflect the history and diversity of our country.” She did not elaborate more but deferred further questions to the Treasury.
In May 2019, then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the redesign of the $20 bill to feature the 19th-century abolitionist leader had been delayed.
The decision to replace Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president, with Tubman on the $20 bill had been made by Mnuchin’s predecessor, former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who had served in the Obama administration.
The fate of the Tubman $20 bill had been in doubt since the 2016 campaign based on critical comments by then-candidate Donald Trump, who branded the move an act of “pure political correctness.”
During the 2016 campaign, Trump had praised Jackson for his “history of tremendous success” and suggested that Tubman could be placed on a different bill, such as the $2 bill.
The unveiling of the redesigned $20 bill featuring Tubman, famous for her efforts in spiriting slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad, had been timed by the Obama administration to coincide with the 100th anniversary in 2020 of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.