The $20 Bill Might Not Get The Harriet Tubman Makeover We Were Promised

Photo: Rachel Cabitt.
It may take a little longer than expected to get a woman onto printed currency in America. According to The Daily Dot, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that altering the current state of the $20 bill isn't high up on his to-do list. Under the Obama administration, plans were in order to replace former President Andrew Jackson with Civil War abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
"It's not something that I'm focused on at the moment," Mnuchin said. "People have been on the bills for a long period of time. This is something we'll consider. Right now, we have a lot more important issues to focus on."
Advertisement
Jack Lew, the treasury secretary under President Obama, announced plans to replace Jackson with Tubman back in April 2016. While Mnuchin didn't explicitly say that the change wasn't going through, the Daily Intelligencer notes that he did mention that currency should only be changed for "security purposes." If everything had gone as planned, the Tubman $20 bill would have been unveiled in 2020 to coincide with the centennial of women's suffrage and the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Mnuchin didn't mention the fact that the sitting president does seem to hold Jackson in high regard. President Trump has a portrait of Jackson hanging in the Oval Office, even though many will remember Jackson more for the fact that he owned slaves and sent 17,000 Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. Trump once said that Jackson had a "big heart."
President Trump hasn't made any comments on the fate of the $20 bill. However, The Daily Dot notes that last year during an appearance on the Today show, he did mention that the change was "pure political correctness."
"Well, Andrew Jackson had a great history," he said. "And I think it's very rough when you take somebody off the bill."
The $5 bill was also in line to receive a new look, the New York Times reported, with civil rights leaders and various scenes from American history set to grace the note, but it's unclear whether or not that will happen. With Mnuchin's focus on security over all else, cash as we know it may not change much at all.
Advertisement