Biden administration announces plan to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on $20 bill

The Biden administration has announced plans to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

During a White House Daily Briefing on Monday, press secretary Jen Psaki stated that, “The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new 20-dollar notes” (C-SPAN). The new twenty-dollar bill would feature a portrait of Harriet Tubman on the front, while moving its current occupant, Andrew Jackson, to the back of the note. While this action was proposed and well underway during the Obama-era, the Trump Administration thwarted efforts to make it happen by the proposed date in 2020.

There has been serious talk of changing the portraits featured on our currency since June of 2015, if not before then. In a letter to the American people in April, 2016, former Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew announced that the new design of the 20-dollar note would feature famed abolitionist, Harriet Tubman. Upon the Trump Administration’s arrival in the White House, plans to go forward with this action were slowed. In May of 2019, then Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said during a House Financial Services Committee hearing that “The primary reason we’ve looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues. Based upon this, the 20-dollar bill will now not come out until 2028” (United States House).

Since its announcement, many people have been for and against changing the image on the 20-dollar note. Prominent commentators have argued that, by removing the image of Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill, it sets a standard of attacking our traditions and Founding Fathers. Despite opposition however, support for replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the 20-dollar bill is significant. Many people have been advocating for the change in currency in order to increase representation of those who have contributed to America’s history. As Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass) said in 2019 while questioning former Treasury Secretary Mnuchin about the subject, “I do believe our diversity is our greatest strength, and arguably, the greatest contributor to our economy (United States House).”




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