Mnuchin reveals Harriet Tubman $20 bill redesign has been postponed — and won’t be unveiled until 2028
Steve Mnuchin, secretary of the United States Treasury Department, has announced that the redesign of the $20 bill featuring abolitionist and human rights activist Harriet Tubman has been delayed and won’t be unveiled in 2020 as previously announced.
The redesign was meant to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment — which granted women the right to vote — to the U.S. Constitution. But according to Mnuchin, no new imagery for the $20 bill will be unveiled until 2028.
During a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, Mnuchin responded to questions from Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and explained, “the primary reason we have looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues. Based upon this, the $20 bill will now not come out until 2028. The $10 bill and the $50 bill will come out with new features beforehand.”
The redesign of the $20 bill featuring Tubman was first announced in 2016 by Jack Lew, secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President Barack Obama. And Donald Trump, during his 2016 presidential campaign, was critical of the decision — which he dismissed as “pure political correctness.” Trump did propose depicting Tubman on $2 bills instead.
Tubman was born in Dorchester County, Maryland in 1822 and was a slave until the 1840s, but she escaped to Philadelphia in 1849 and fought slavery via the Underground Railroad. During the U.S. Civil War, Tubman worked for the Union Army in various capacities.
After slavery was abolished in the U.S., Tubman focused heavily on women’s suffrage. Tubman was in her early 90s when she died in 1913.
Earlier this year, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire introduced a bill that would direct the U.S. Treasury Department to include Tubman’s portrait on all $20 bills starting in 2021. And the New England Democrat, in an official statement, asserted, “The needless foot-dragging on this important effort is unacceptable. Our currency tells our country’s story, and it is past time to honor the contributions of Harriet Tubman.”