• Darby Gore

Should Harriet Tubman be on the $20 Bill?

As of now the $20 bill bares Andrew Jackson’s face but the discussion has long been in the works to transition it over to Harriet Tubman. The Trump Administration delayed the transition to Harriet Tubman, but the Biden Administration is currently exploring ways to speed up the upcoming release of $20 bills featuring the abolitionist.


The initiative to redesign the $20 bill and put Tubman on the front was started by Barack Obama during his presidency. Soon after Trump was elected he suggested that Tubman be put on the $2 bill instead, which was not being printed at that time. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that, “It's important that our notes... reflect the history and diversity of our country, and Harriet Tubman's image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that". There are of course some different production factors that would need to be carefully considered for the bill to be released before the previously estimated year 2028. For example the new Tubman bill would need to be produced in a new, high-speed printing facility, which is currently scheduled to be open and able to begin printing in the year 2025.


Putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill is a movement that has long been in the process and having the United States currency be more representative of Americans is a noble cause. However, there is validity to Trump’s view that there are other important issues that should be dealt with prior to revamping currency. Much of this discussion was pushed to the side while addressing the Covid-19 pandemic and dealing with the 2020 election. Now with the Biden administration pushing for quick production of the Tubman $20, some are asking if this is an appropriate time when the deadliest weeks ever recorded for Covid-19 are raging on. The question of "pandering" is coming up more often while many wait desperately for a deal to be struck on direct payments to Americans.

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