Mnuchin Punts on Controversial Harriet Tubman Redesign; Keeps Jackson on $20

26 Mai, 2019, 09:22 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that a redesigned $20 bill would not be released until 2028, essentially punting to a future administration the racially charged Obama-era effort to put Underground Railroad leader Harriet Tubman on the note instead of the seventh president.

Mnuchin's predecessor, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, announced in 2016 that the U.S. would swap out President Andrew Jackson, the slave-owning president whose legacy is synonymous with the Trail of Tears, with Tubman. The Obama administration proposed placing Tubman's face on the $20 bill in 2020 as part of an effort to have women on US currency. The new bill was scheduled to be released in 2020 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Mnuchin said in a January 2018 interview that "we aven't made any decision as to whether we'll change the bill, or won't change the bill", and a Treasury Department spokesperson told CNN this year that Mnuchin's position remained the same.

"The imagery feature will not be an issue that comes up until most likely 2026", Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday in response to questions from Massachusetts Democrat Ayanna Pressley. "So I am not focused on that at the moment", Mnuchin said.

During the same campaign, Trump praised Andrew Jackson, who is now represented on the $20 bill, for his "history of tremendous success" and suggested that Tubman could be placed on a different bill, such as the rarely-used $2 bill.

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Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Republican Rep. John Katko of NY issued a statement later Wednesday expressing disappointment with Mnuchin's remarks and pressing for the passage of their legislation to require all $20 bills printed after 2020 to "bear the likeness of Harriet Tubman". He also did not state whether he personally supports seeing Tubman on the money. "I've made no decision as it relates to that", he said.

Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley of MA, who grilled Mnuchin about the Tubman plan, tweeted after the hearing: "People other than white men built this county".

Mnuchin's predecessor in the Obama administration, Jack Lew, oversaw a 10-month process in which the public suggested hundreds of people whose portraits could appear on US bills.

"Sadly, this delay sends an unmistakable message to women and girls, and communities of color, who were promised they'd see Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill", Shaheen said in a statement.

Mr. Trump has expressed admiration for President Andrew Jackson, who was a slave owner, and had a portrait of him put in the Oval Office.

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