Psaki Says Treasury Department Is Proceeding To Place Harriet Tubman On $20 Bill


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the Treasury Department is proceeding to place Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

“I was here when we announced that and it was very exciting and hasn’t moved forward yet, which we would’ve been surprised to learn at the time. The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes,” Psaki said.

“It’s important that our notes, our — our, our money, of people don’t know what a note is, reflect the history and diversity of our country and Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that,” Psaki said. “So we’re exploring ways to speed up that effort, but any specifics would of course come from the Department of Treasury.”

Former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in 2016 that Tubman would be featured on the new bill, which would’ve fulfilled a public campaign’s request to have a woman printed on U.S. money, NPR reported at the time. The Treasury Department considered replacing either Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill or former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

Lydia Washington, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, told The Daily Caller in 2017 that the bill is anticipated to be issued after 2026. Washington also said security was the main reason behind altering the bill. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in 2019 that the bill’s revealing would be pushed until at least 2026 and the bill probably wouldn’t start to get circulated until 2028, according to The New York Times in 2019.

Former President Donald Trump’s administration wasn’t responsible for holding up a new $20 bill’s reveal, three former President Barack Obama high-ranking officials, who were part of the bill’s design and release, said, according to The Washington Post.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer asked Eric Thorson, former inspector general at the Department of Treasury, “that your office investigate the circumstances surrounding the Department of Treasury’s decision to delay redesign of the $20 note featuring the portrait of Harriet Tubman, including any involvement by the White House in this decision,” according to a 2019 letter.

“We have reviewed your request, our work plans, and our available resources, and believe that this issue can be incorporated into an audit engagement that is about to get underway,” former Acting Inspector General Rich Delmar wrote to a 2019 letter addressed to Schumer.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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