U.S. Treasury’s Mnuchin: It’s still not time for Harriet Tubman $20 bill

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Hearings to Examine Implementation of Title I of the CARES Act

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By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday it still is not time to introduce a new $20 bill picturing escaped slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman despite recent protests over police treatment of African Americans – but insisted the reasons are purely technical.

Mnuchin, asked by reporters on a video call whether the Treasury would now accelerate introduction of the Tubman $20 bill, said such decisions were years away and would be made by a future Treasury secretary.

The next $20 bill redesign is scheduled for release in 2030, with the next $10 bill set for 2026, he said, adding that the schedule is set by career Treasury officials.

“I just want to clarify that we have not changed any of this and this is something in the distant future,” Mnuchin said, referring to the Trump administration.

The image of Tubman, born into slavery in 1822 and who later escaped from a Maryland plantation and helped hundreds of slaves reach freedom, was first proposed for the $20 bill in 2016 by Democratic then-President Barack Obama’s last Treasury secretary, Jack Lew.

Lew’s goal was for Tubman to replace former President Andrew Jackson, who owned slaves, on the $20 bill in 2020.

Republican President Donald Trump derided the idea as a candidate in 2016, later calling it an example of “pure political correctness.”

Mnuchin first told lawmakers https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-currency-tubman/u-s-treasury-backs-away-from-plan-for-harriet-tubman-on-20-bill-next-year-idUSKCN1SS2ZK last year that goal would not be met, and on Thursday repeated his comments that he is focused on sophisticated anti-counterfeiting features of the bills not the imagery.

However, he said the image of Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Treasury secretary, would appear on the new $10 bill in 2026 because discussions of potential changes prompted “a lot of pushback.”

The Treasury chief declined to say whether he personally supported Tubman’s image for the $20 because it would not be his decision, even if Trump wins a second four-year term and Mnuchin serves.

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Source: U.S. Treasury’s Mnuchin: It’s still not time for Harriet Tubman $20 bill

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