- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
- The house has not voted
Committee on Financial ServicesIntroducedJune 4th, 2019
- house Committees
What is House Bill H.R. 3082?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 3082
In-Depth: Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) introduced this bill to require a $20 bill printed after 2022 to feature Harriet Tubman rather than President Andrew Jackson, thereby reversing the Treasury Dept.’s recent decision delaying the placement of Tubman on the redesigned $20 bill:
“I strongly oppose the Trump Administration’s unreasonable decision to indefinitely delay the release of the new $20 bill with no real plan of action. Over three years ago, I worked directly with the Department of Treasury to plan the release of the new $20 design featuring Harriet Tubman—coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. The new $20 is desperately needed, as the last new design occurred nearly a century ago and was determined by the American people to better reflect the diversity of our great country. That is why I am proud to reintroduce the Woman on the Twenty Act to ensure that Harriet Tubman finds her rightful place on our nation’s currency.”
Before taking office, President Trump called the decision to put Tuman on the $20 “pure political correctness” and proposed putting her portrait on the much less-common $2 bill instead. Reportedly, former President Andrew Jackson — who is currently on the $20 bill and is known for forcibly relocating Native Americans during his presidency — is one of Trump’s favorite presidents. Early on in his administration, Trump visited Jackson’s grave and subsequently tweeted an image of him at the site with the message, “We honor your memory. We build on your legacy.”
In her book “Unhinged,” former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman wrote that Trump balked at the idea of putting Tubman on the $20 bill. According to her book, he asked her, “You want me to put that face on the $20 bill?”
This bill has 22 Democratic cosponsors.
Of Note: Since the first general circulation of paper money in 1877, the U.S. has yet to have a woman featured on its paper currency. In an online poll of one million Americans conducted by Women on 20s, a nonprofit organization, Harriet Tubman was found to be the most popular choice for an updated $20 bill. When the Tubman design for the $20 bill was announced by former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in 2016 after a 10-month process in which the Treasury Dept. sought public input, then-Secretary Lew said:
“The decision to put Harriet Tubman on the new $20 was driven by thousands of responses we received from Americans young and old. I have been particularly struck by the many comments and reactions from children for whom Harriet Tubman is not just a historical figure, but a role model for leadership and participation in our democracy.”
Rep. Beatty has advocated for having a woman on the U.S. currency for a number of years. In 2015, she introduced the Woman on the Twenty Act (H.R. 2147) to direct the Treasury Secretary to create a citizens’ panel to recommend a woman to be placed on the $20 bill. She also spoke on the House Floor in support of putting Harriet Tubman on the new $20 the same year. In April 2016, Rep. Beatty wrote a letter to then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew calling on the Treasury Dept. to fast-track the new note and have it in circulation by 2020. Most recently, in 2017, Rep. Beatty wrote Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to urge him to recommit to the redesign of the $20 featuring Harriet Tubman.
While testifying to the House Financial Services Committee in May 2019, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the $20 Tubman bill’s planned 2020 rollout had been delayed to 2028. Denying allegations that he’s purposely slowed the process down, Mnuchin said that a review of the bill’s security features is behind the delay. In an email to CNN, Lydia Washington, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing said that none of the details of the currency design have been finalized yet, and that the redesign is on schedule but still in the “development stage,” with security features being prioritized. However, former Engraving and Printing Director Larry Rolufs says this is odd, as security features and a bill’s images are usually created simultaneously, and the bill’s preliminary design had been drawn up by the end of 2016.
In response to the $20 Tubman bill’s delay, the Women on 20s campaign, which has been advocating for the Tubman $20, said in a statement that the organization is “not surprised that Secretary Mnuchin may be kicking the design reveal of the $20 bill to sometime beyong the political interference of a Trump presidency.” However, the group added that it hopes Congress will intervene to ensure that the bill is brought into circulation and “at the very least show us a Tubman bill design in time for the centennial of the 19th Amendment in 2020. As we’ve been saying for years, symbols do matter.”
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Kameleon007)