Biden Administration Fast-Tracking Harriet Tubman $20 Bill

The Biden Administration kicked off its first full week in office by recommitting itself to another one of the many campaign promises President Joe Biden made while still a candidate. Along with his vow to create a staff and Cabinet that looks like the country it serves, Biden is now making good on an intention first put forth by the Obama Administration, then delayed by the one between theirs: to replace notoriously racist Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. And not with the visage of another white man, as has been suggested; Biden is fast-tracking the reprinting of the bills with the image of famous Abolitionist heroine Harriet Tubman.

During Monday’s daily White House Press Briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters about the recommitment to honoring Tubman’s legacy. “It’s important that our notes, our money — if people don’t know what a note is — reflect the history and diversity of our country, and Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that.”

Tubman, the once-enslaved African-American woman who guided dozens of enslaved people to their freedom through the Underground Railroad in the 1800s, would be both the first woman and the first person of color on any American paper currency. Susan B. Anthony and Sacagewea each have representation on coins.

A spokesperson for the Treasury Department confirmed that the agency is “exploring ways to resume” putting Tubman on the bill, but that there are production factors that will need to be considered in order for the bill to be released before 2028 — when the Trump administration estimated the new note would be unveiled. For example, the Tubman bill will need to be produced in a new, high-speed printing facility, which is currently scheduled to begin printing in 2025.

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