Since April 2016, the United States Department of the Treasury has said that freedom fighter and abolitionist Harriet Tubman would replace former president Andrew Grant on the front of the $20 bill, as Colorlines previously reported. But yesterday (May 22), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed that the redesign will not happen while President Donald Trump is in office.
In a C-Span video of Mnuchin testifying on the international financial system before the House Committee on Financial Services, Representative Ayanna Pressely (D-Mass.) explained the efforts of grassroots organizations to update the country’s currency so it reflects the nation’s diverse population and pioneers. Pressley noted that when former Secretary Jacob Lew announced in 2016 that Tubman would be the face of the new bill, he also confirmed that final design concepts would be unveiled in 2020 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
Clearly frustrated by the lack of updates on the project, Pressley asked Mnuchin, “Do you believe that representation matters in American politics and imagery? Do you believe that people, other than White men, have greatly contributed to this country and its history?”
Though Mnuchin said he agreed that others have made contributions to this country, he also said, “The $20 bill will now not come out until 2028. The $10 bill and the $50 bill will come out with new features beforehand,” adding that the redesign will be made by a different secretary altogether. “I have not made a decision to execute on a redesign.”