Treasury secretary won’t commit to putting Tubman on $20 bill

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday he would not commit to carrying out the Obama administration's plan to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, saying he was undecided, The Washington Post reported.

Mnuchin said the decision would be based on designing currency in a way to prevent counterfeiting, and not about whose portrait is on the bill.

“Ultimately we will be looking at this issue,” Mnuchin told CNBC. “It’s not something I’m focused on at the moment.”

President Barack Obama and then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew proposed last year to remove President Andrew Jackson’s image off the $20 bill and replace it with Tubman's. An abolitionist who helped many slaves escape, Tubman would be the only woman and only African American on commonly used U.S. paper currency.

Under Lew’s proposal, Tubman’s image would be on the front of the $20 bill and Jackson’s image would appear on the other side.

President Donald Trump said he admires Jackson and has a portrait of the nation’s seventh president on a wall in the Oval Office.

Last year, in an interview with NBC, Trump said Tubman was “fantastic” but said putting her on the $20 bill was an example of “pure political correctness,” the Post reported.

“Well, Andrew Jackson had a great history, and I think it's very rough when you take somebody off the bill,” Trump said last year. “I think Harriet Tubman is fantastic, but I would love to leave Andrew Jackson or see if we can maybe come up with another denomination.”

About the Author